ignacio rivera

“May political parties disappear. Nobody was born a member of a political party. In contrast, we were all born into a family, we are all neighbors in a municipality, and we all work hard at a profession. Well, if these are the natural units of our society—if we truly live in the family, the municipality, and the corporation, why do we need the intermediary and pernicious instrument of political parties to unite us in artificial groups and divide us in our authentic realities?”
— José Antonio Primo de Rivera

Ignacio Rivera

Prefers the gender-neutral pronoun “they,” has spoken at home and abroad on such topics as racism, sexism, homo/transphobia, transgender issues, anti-oppression, anti-violence, multi-issue organizing and more. In addition to lectures and keynotes, their work manifests itself through skits, one-person shows, poetry, spoken word performance, workshops, readings and experimental film.

Ignacio is the founder of Poly Patao Productions. P3 is dedicated to producing sex-positive workshops, performance pieces, films, play parties, panel discussions, social/political groups and educational opportunities that are specially geared toward queer women, transgender, multi-gender, gender-queer, gender non-conforming and gender variant people of color.

They also helped found the the Queers for Economic Justice, a progressive non-profit organization committed to promoting economic justice in a context of sexual and gender liberation, as one of the board members.

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Spoken Word Poet Ignacio Rivera @ Titillating Tongues: NYC Erotica in Poetry & Prose

[Photo of a Black-Boricua Taino person with a short hair cut and glasses. They are wearing an orange t-shirt with an orange and white plaid shirt over it. They are standing in front of an orange wall with a drawing of a naked person over their left shoulder.]

Black-Boricua Taino Two Spirit Performing Artist and Educator

Ignacio G. Rivera

Are you ever misgendered?

Oh yeah, all the time. I think that my caring about it has shifted a lot. When I first first first came out as trans… I told people, “I want you to refer to me as ‘he’ and ‘she’ simultaneously, like in the same sentence. I don’t want to be just he or just she, but use [the pronouns] like that. People took that to mean that they just chose and most people chose ‘she.’  Again I felt invisible and that people weren’t honoring my identity, so I decided I was going by he and I went by ‘he’ for about 2 years. That still felt weird to me, it just didn’t fit right. I ended up meeting another genderqueer person who was going by 'they’ and it just clicked for me. I really liked it because it doesn’t indicate anything. So when you’re talking about me to somebody, they just don’t know – female, male, what am I – and I like that. I like the idea of people not knowing, so I started using they. But, they is very complicated for people because people don’t use they as a pronoun, although it is quite proper [laughs]. We just haven’t used it as much, and I think genderqueer, queer folks have been reviving that. In the Spanish language, it’s also an issue, but I came up with my own. My community, my chosen family, they say they to me all the time, but when I’m outside in the world: sir, lad, man, lady, miss, ma’am. Or sometimes people are completely confused. A couple of times, which I loved, were instances where people literally were like, “May I help you, ma’am… Yes, sir… Thank you again, ma’am…” They went from “ma’am” to “sir” waiting for me to correct them, but I wouldn’t! And I loved it because they were [thinking], Please just tell me what the fuck you are, so I can just say it right. And I’m not, I’m just gonna let you do that, and I’m fine with it. In the beginning it pissed me off because I was so fresh in expressing my identity that I wanted people to get me. Now, yeah, sometimes, it irks me a little bit, but I’ve gotten to the point where I really don’t give a shit because if I have my community and my people validating my identity then I’m ok with it. I answer to ma’am… I know they’re trying to talk to me and they aren’t being malicious, unless they are. I think the way my physical appearance has been changing lately because three months ago, I decided to go on T… I’ve been out as trans for almost a decade now, and I’m 42. I’ve taken my time, I’ve rode every wave that I’ve been on and I’ve loved it. Now I’m on this and I wanted to see what it feels like… I’ve also decided that I don’t want top surgery. The way I envision myself, the way that makes me beam with happiness, if I could draw a sketch of myself… it would be… with a little mustache, like my father, and I wouldn’t bind anymore. I would not even wear a sports bra because to me, that encompasses my genderqueer/gender non-conforming identity. I’ve never seen myself as a man and at one point, I saw myself as a woman. I have that history and I honor that history: woman – that’s God to me. I see myself as a combination of those things or another entity altogether. Sometimes, I gotta use that language because that’s all we have and I want to be viewed that way. So if I’m on T and I happen to get a mustache or beard, I want to have my chest there to balance that out for me; I don’t want to pass as a man…

- Excerpt from interview with Ignacio G. Rivera for Lxs Afrxlatinxs: Queer Afrolatin@ Storytelling Project

Lxs Afrxlatinxs Twitter Chat!

Join Lxs Afrxlatinxs as we celebrate our 1-year anniversary on Sunday, February 8th at 3pm for a twitter chat on Intersectionality and Activism within trans and queer afrolatinidad!
Leading the chat will be:

Ignacio G. Rivera, educator and performer
Bianca Laureano, educator and sexologist
Pablo Jose Lopez Oro, Africana Studies Scholar
Harmony-Jazmyne Samira Rodriguez, writer and activist
Jack Qu'emi, activist and writer

Feel free to join in the discussion! Use the hashtag #qtnegrx