Delfin W. Bautista

i am, we are
yo soy, nosotros somos

we are la frontera,
we are the borderlands
we are a both/and people
we are selves within a body made of many parts
we are interconnected and we are messy

we are arroz con pollo and fish n’ chips
we are desi arnaz and lucille ball
we are celia cruz, selena, and santana
we are bob dylan, boy marley, and aretha franklin
we are gringos and ethnics
we are chalupas y burritos, we are peanut butter and jelly
we are tex-mex and we are blasian
we are chile-dominicuricans
we are borderlands, somos fronteras

we are hyphenated individuals,
claiming multiple identities even when they don’t claim us
we are Cuban-Americans, Mexican-Americans, African-Americans,
Jamaican-Americans, Jewish-Americans, Colombian-Americans . . .

we are boriqua, quisqueyanos, chicanos, latinas, hispanics,
herspanics, spanish, neuyoricans, mulattos . . .
we are a mestizaje of peoples, of fore-mothers and fore-fathers,
who have birthed into us identities that flourish in harmonious tension.

we are borderlands, somos fronteras
we are queer, straight, questioning, cisgendered, transgendered, polyamorous,
pansexual, and everything under the rainbow in between

we are la frontera
we are evangelical, catholic, Catholic, Santeros, Candemblistas,
fundamentalists, heretics, rebels . . .

we are y tambien somos
we are moya, ubunto, namaste, cumbayah
we are y tambien somos
we are interconnected, contradictory, harmonious, re-membered,
we are bordered and we are borderless
we are, nosotros somos
we are good and we are a sacred hot mess.

we are no longer made to feel ashamed for existing.
we will claim, rant, and rave our voices:
Indian, Spanish, white, black, yellow, American . . .

we will have our voices . . . a woman’s voice, a sexual voice, a tribal voice, a poet’s voice . . .
we will overcome the tradition of silence and
we will joyfully live into our both/andedness


Delfin W. Bautista is a native of Miami, FL and is of Cuban and Salvadoran heritage. Delfin is a social worker and queer theologian who is passionate about engaging the intersections of religion, sexuality, race/ethnicity, and justice—specifically around LGBTQ issues. Delfin has a Master’s in Divinity as well as a Master’s in Social Work. Delfin’s background includes work as a chaplain, case manager, and therapist. As an activist-scholar of faith, Delfin is interested in creating spaces where individuals and communities are safe and challenged to explore identity, expression, gender, and orientation in their complexities.


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