Sex and gender are not mere descriptives but theoretical tools to understand Latin American political and cultural realities-local, global, transnational, diasporical. Intertwined with discourses of progress, family and nation, bodies and sex are sites of resistance through a Latin American lens.
Though theories of gender and sexuality may have originated in the West, thinking through lenses of sex, gender, and queer theory is not alien to the Latin American context. Terms such as 'gender', 'sexuality', and 'queer' are no longer merely descriptive categories or movements that seek sexual vindication, but in a broader sense, they are useful theoretical tools that have helped to understand the political and cultural realities of Latin America and its connections to the local, global, transnational, and diasporical. Sexual identities, activities, and relationships are intricately intertwined with discourses of progress and development, and the acceptance of certain models of sexuality (and rejection of others) is seen as central to notions of family and nation. As ideologies and normative imperatives are played out on, in, and through bodies of all kinds, those very bodies and sexuality itself can become the sites of powerful forms of resistance.
In recent years, increasing interest in gender and sexuality in the Latin American academy has combined with expanding access of Latin American scholars (both within and outside the region) to global publishing and regional policy shifts on related issues, creating a perfect platform for the formation of a Latin American understanding of sexuality and gender. This panel invited engagements with issues of sexuality and gender across the region, creating a forum for discussion and analysis of sexualities as sites of resistance.