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Gloria Anzaldúa

  • These my two hands / quick to slap my face / before others could slap it.

    • Gloria Anzaldúa,
    • "The Woman Who Lived Forever," in Cherríe Moraga and Gloria Anzaldúa , eds., This Bridge Called My Back ()
  • ... the world I create in writing compensates for what the real world does not give me.

    • Gloria Anzaldúa,
    • in Cherríe Moraga and Gloria Anzaldúa, eds., This Bridge Called My Back ()
  • Enough of passivity and passing time while waiting for the boy friend, the girl friend, the Goddess, or the Revolution.

    • Gloria Anzaldúa,
    • in Cherríe Moraga and Gloria Anzaldúa, eds., This Bridge Called My Back ()
  • Write with your eyes like painters, with your ears like musicians, with your feet like dancers. You are the truthsayer with quill and torch. Write with your tongues of fire. Don't let the pen banish you from yourself.

    • Gloria Anzaldúa,
    • in Cherríe Moraga and Gloria Anzaldúa, eds., This Bridge Called My Back ()
  • My 'awakened dreams' are about shifts. Thought shifts, reality shifts, gender shifts: one person metamorphoses into another in a world where people fly through the air, heal from mortal wounds. I am playing with my Self, I am playing with the world's soul, I am the dialogue between my Self, and el espirítu del mundo. I change myself, I change the world.

  • The U.S.-Mexican border es un herida abierta where the Third World grates against the first and bleeds. And before a scab forms it hemorrhages again, the lifeblood of two worlds merging to form a third country — a border culture.

  • The Gringo, locked into the fiction of white superiority, seized complete political power, stripping Indians and Mexicans of their land while their feet were still rooted in it. Con el destierro y el exilo fuimos desuñados, destroncados, destripados — we were jerked out by the roots, truncated, disemboweled, dispossessed, and separated from our identity and our history.

  • I had to leave home so I could find myself, find my own intrinsic nature buried under the personality that had been imposed on me.

  • Deviance is whatever is condemned by the community. Most societies try to get rid of their deviants. Most cultures have burned and beaten their homosexuals and others who deviate from the sexual common. The queer are the mirror reflecting the heterosexual tribe's fear: being different, being other and therefore lesser, therefore sub-human, in-human, non-human.

  • To separate from my culture (as from my family) I had to feel competent enough on the outside and secure enough inside to live life on my own. Yet in leaving home I did not lose touch with my origins because lo mexicano is in my system. I am a turtle, wherever I go I carry 'home' on my back.

  • I want the freedom to carve and chisel my own face, to staunch the bleeding with ashes, to fashion my own gods out of my entrails.

  • An image is a bridge between evoked emotion and conscious knowledge; words are the cables that hold up the bridge. Images are more direct, more immediate than words, and closer to the unconscious. Picture language precedes thinking in words; the metaphorical mind precedes analytical consciousness.

  • Living in a state of psychic unrest, in a Borderland, is what makes poets write and artists create.

  • I am visible — see this Indian face — yet I am invisible. I both blind them with my beak nose and am their blind spot. But I exist, we exist. They'd like to think I have melted in the pot. But I haven't, we haven't.

  • Living on borders and in margins, keeping intact one's shifting and multiple identity and integrity, is like trying to swim in a new element, an 'alien' element.

  • Wild tongues cannot be tamed, they can only be cut out.

    • Gloria Anzaldúa,
    • "How to Tame a Wild Tongue," in Christian McEwen and Sue O'Sullivan, eds., Out the Other Side ()

Gloria Anzaldúa, Chicana-U.S. scholar of Chicana cultural theory, feminist theory, queer theory

(1942 - 2004)

Full name: Gloria Evangelina Anzaldúa.