Las Sueltas is an evolving collaboration started by two queer, undocumented, Latina womyn currently living in Chicago. Las Sueltas positions these identities as central to discuss (and critique) politics, histories, cultures, and subcultures that might relate to us. The two main sueltas who will be kicking off this project include Andrea (Suelta Dre) and Arianna (Suelta Bee).
For me, Suelta Dre, Las Suelta was created as a means to cope with repressed experiences, trauma, and instances of sexual violence and of being silenced for speaking out as a direct result of being a woman. Still, I would find it very difficult to speak about my own sexuality, even with others who were open to talking about theirs. I struggled with feelings of unworthiness or even pressure to have to ascribe to one sexual identity or the other. Eventually, the more that I called others sueltas and began conversations with other womyn about their experiences and our shared experiences, it became a tool of empowerment, solidarity, and fortitude: a tool for self-expression that I was able to channel into every other aspect of my life. I often turn to books to be able to articulate feelings and emotions that I go through as a result of coming to terms with my identity, for lack of language. Therefore, it cannot go without saying that Las Sueltas is loosely inspired by Sandra Cisnero’s “Loose Women”, a poem about knowing oneself despite labels and assumptions imposed by others, and being one’s true self, without apologies or explanations.
Very similarly for me, Suelta Bee, Las Sueltas represented a way to deal with the verbal, physical, and sexual violence experience by me and other womyn around me. Las Sueltas not only represented a way to deal but also a space where womyn could share these experiences and build a support system. This space became extremely significant for me because there was now space where I felt listened to and supported by other womyn who understood my experiences since they were similar to their own. Aside from a safe and welcoming space, as Las Sueltas, we queer, undocumented, Latina womyn shared our experiences, advice, and knowledge to help each other find possible solutions for the struggles we were facing and continue to experience. In addition to all these wonderful things that Las Sueltas provided for me, Las Sueltas also gave me a term that I could comfortably claim and use to represent my values and beliefs as a unapologetic and fuerte queer, undocumented, Latina womyn.
We hope others find some purpose, laughter, love, and healing in this blog as well, and that other sueltas may feel inclined to share in this project with us. Feel free to contact us at email@example.com.
~ Las Sueltas