Cantos y llantos, 2019

recording by Irene Wassner

In front of a Catholic Church, I placed myself in conversation with the Lord and religion. Being baptized as a child introduced me to Catholicism without my knowing, a relationship that developed my beliefs and faith. Yet, as I grew into adolescence, that devotion was a fleeting connection as my family disassociated with the institution of the church. My faith remained but was molded to my newfound beliefs of acceptance for my queer body. I bring complaints about my experience—the good and the bad—to their presence to settle the betrayal; moving on from the harm.

I do this by going back to my mother’s womb—a pink fabric covered in sequins enveloping myself and embracing the oppressed feminine—before baptism in anticipation for what is to come. This created space is also one of safety, as opposed to the harsh realities of the outside world which I inevitably inhabit.

My speech takes the form of the language of music; using songs that were listened to by my mother, before 1995, and given to me. These include songs by José José, Amanda Miguel, Selena, and more. Using songs about the complexities of love, I confront the entity of Catholicism as a past lover. I sing, rather than talk, using my altered voice as the carrier of felt emotions and at times dance as a celebration of my realization.

This performance is a critique on antiquated religious beliefs that are meant to hurt.