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Sirena Selena pgs 1-51. By Heidy Jimenez & Shannon Magni. Initial Impressions?. When looking at the cover, what did you expect it to be about? Was it a new experience reading about drag queens? Were there any points at which you were surprised?

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sirena selena pgs 1 51

Sirena Selena pgs 1-51

By Heidy Jimenez & Shannon Magni

initial impressions
Initial Impressions?
  • When looking at the cover, what did you expect it to be about?
  • Was it a new experience reading about drag queens?
  • Were there any points at which you were surprised?
  • Has anyone read anything else by Mayra Santos Febres?
general terminology what do they mean how are they relevant in the novel
General TerminologyWhat do they mean & how are they relevant in the novel?
  • Draga
  • Mamá
  • Loca
  • Transformista
  • Travestis
  • Clientes
  • MujerElegante
miss martha divine
Miss Martha Divine
  • Which terms could apply to her?Why?
  • What is her role in Selena’s transition?
  • What is her motive? Dream?
  • Do you think she’s working more for her own benefit or for Selena’s?
  • Does she seem like she truly cares about Selena or just see her as a business opportunity?
miss martha divine s fears
Miss Martha Divine’s Fears?
  • Passing & being found out
  • “She trembled just thinking that someone in the middle of takeoff, would point a finger at her and shout “Look at that. That’s not a woman.” And they would turn the aircraft around and force her from it, throwing her suitcases to the ground, her bags would open suddenly spewing high heels, gauze tape, depilatory creams, and thousands of other cosmetic items…” (Santos Febres 10)
sirena selena
Sirena Selena
  • Former identity?
    • Leocadio
    • Childhood and life before the passing of his grandmother?
    • Sentiments regarding Yesenia?
    • What are your interpretations of his experience at the beach as a young boy when older men are looking at him lustfully?
    • “Even at the beach those men wouldn’t leave him alone. He didn’t know how they found him, how they tracked him down everywhere, how they saw something in him that made them drool over him and filled their eyes with trouble” (pg40)
sirena selena1
Sirena Selena
  • How do you think Selena feels about the situation?
  • How much agency does she have?
      • Suggestion of taking hormones?
  • How do you think Selena feels towards Martha and her decisions?
selena s transition
Selena’s Transition
  • What sparks her transition?
    • Grandmother’s death
    • Living on the streets
    • Hustling & drug use
    • Working with Miss Martha
    • Rise to fame
latin lover
Latin Lover
  • Where in the story do we hear of the story of the Latin Lover? In what context?
  • “What Milton liked to do was to go to the bars for the tourists who came to this island in search of the mythical Latin lover who would jump their bones in a night of glorious passion under a palm tree.” (Santos Febres 21)
the idea of passing
The idea of “Passing”
  • How is the idea of passing demonstrated in this novel?
  • Which characters live their lives with the purpose of passing?
  • How do the different characters experience it differently?
  • How can we compare the notion of passing in the novel with we’ve previously discussed about passing?
    • What are different motives for passing?
what assumptions does passing make about what it means to be a woman
What assumptions does “passing” make about what it means to be a woman?
  • Which stereotypes are being re-enforced by various characters in the novel?
    • The glamorous life of “La mujerelegante”
    • Pleasing men & being submissive
    • When addressing drug use:“Loca, that’s not where a young lady is supposed to have her first period,”
    • Appearance & sexuality
      • Clothing, jewelry & cosmetics
connections to sex trafficking
Connections to Sex Trafficking
  • In Chapter 13 of Latina/o Sexualities Amalia L. Cabezas various aspects of the sex trade and sex trafficking are discussed.
  • What level of the sex trade do we see in this section of the book and what dangers does it present as mentioned by Cabezas?
    • Street level work
    • “…one of the most dangerous segments of the sex trade, where women are exposed to high levels of violence, arrest and chaos.” (210)
characteristics of the sex trade
Characteristics of the Sex Trade
  • “As in other labor markets that are segmented by English-language skills, citizenship status, age, nationality, and race or skin color, the participation of Latinas in the sex trade is configured by these dynamics as well” (208)
characteristics of the sex trade1
Characteristics of the Sex Trade
  • What characteristics affect the sex trade in San Juan, Puerto Rico, as described in the beginning of the novel?
    • Drug addiction, gender, how easily some can “pass”, physical strength, age, naiveté
  • Could limitations imposed by some characteristics put some of the dragas at greater risk?
trafficking of selena
Trafficking of Selena
  • While the chapter rather exclusively discusses trafficking within the United States, the same general principles apply to the Caribbean setting.
  • Could we say that Selena is being trafficked to the Dominican Republic?
final thoughts
Final Thoughts?
  • What do you think will happen in coming chapters?
  • Thank you for your attention!