Latin@s to Watch Out For: Yucca Bianca W.
As we approach the end of Hispanic Heritage Month, URGE and National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health will be highlighting fierce young Latin@s that are doing amazing social justice work.
Name: Yucca Bianca W.
Organization or Movement: Cicada Collective
Not every Latin@ identifies as “Hispanic”, how do you identify and what is your heritage?
I identify as a queer gender non conforming fronterista Chicanx/Tejanx raised on occupied Coahuiltecan territory, so called South Tejas. Finding words for my identity has been a struggle and I continue to be on a personal journey to explore what reflects the way I way i feel inside, with my loved ones, and how it functions within the larger latin@ community.
There’s something so significant and different about existing on the borderlands than any other place, which is what I identify with the most. Though I left home years ago, there’s a perpetual feeling of being nestled inside of a cacoon, trying to figure out how you fit when you feel stuck in between multiple worlds, finding balance within the imbalance, and finding home within yourself.
Is there a Latin@ leader you look up to, if so who? If not, why not?
I look up to the people who support me on a daily basis; loved ones trying to hustle to survive, their smiles, their dancing, their poetry, their healing powers. People holding it down in south Texas inspire me to keep loving and learning about my home, simultaneously teaching me strength and patience. I look up to weird alter-latin@ middle schoolers in isolated places trying to navigate this bizarre world by creating their own.
What does it mean to be Latin@ in the United States right now?
What a question! Because latin@ is a pan identity (that I have very complicated feelings about), it feels strange speaking on behalf of other populations that are outside of these regional identities that exist in Texas. It means reclaiming power, feeling lost, embodying strength, fighting and surviving assimilation, connecting to ancestral roots, (re) learning ways of being, and creating our own narratives. All of this to say, it means being resilient poderos@s in the face of multiple barriers.
As we know, Latin@s are not a monolithic group– we are diverse in a multitude of ways. What other identities/struggles do you identify with and what do you think other Latin@s should be focusing on this next year?
There is SO much we need to be working on now, next year will be too late! We need to pay attention and deconstruct how anti-blackness functions within our communities. We need to focus on centering the voices of our trans latina sisters, making sure that not one more gets brutally murdered. We need to be focusing on environmental and climate injustices, because our gente should not have to bear the brunt of health issues and spiritual harm caused by the oil and gas industry. We need to make sure that people in the Rio Grande Valley can access safe reproductive health care; we need to abolish check points and end the militarization of the border. All of this is connected.
What is your vision for the the Latin@ community in the future– how we are seen and treated, how we show up and participate and issues we care about?
We need to keep centering those on the frontlines, educating and learning from youth, and creating sustainable ways to do this work. I hope our thriving community can continue moving forward with all of our creativity and strength!