Juana María Rodríguez: The Amazing Past of Adela Vazquez

Actions Panel

Juana María Rodríguez: The Amazing Past of Adela Vazquez

The SRC's featured speaker, Juana María Rodríguez, presents on Adela Vazquez's life as a Cuban transgender activist living in San Francisco.

When and where

Date and time


Claude T. Bissell Building 140 Saint George Street Room 728 Toronto, ON M5S 3G6 Canada

Map and directions

How to get there

About this event

  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Mobile eTicket

This paper, part of the new book project, Puta Life, Seeing Latinas Working Sex, centers on the life of Adela Vázquez, a Cuban transgender activist living in San Francisco. Vázquez’s life story of being assigned male at birth in Cuba, forming part of the Mariel boat lift, and working as a sex worker in San Francisco is the subject of Sexile/Sexilio, a bilingual graphic novel by Jaime Cortez, as well as numerous other oral history projects. A colorful and complicated biographical subject, Vazquez’s modes of expression frequently confound and complicate the political projects of queer Latinx representation. In this talk, these various attempts at biographical narration will be juxtaposed with Vázquez’s self-representation within social media platforms such as Facebook, where she maintains an active presence.

The talk will be held on February 2nd 2023 at 4:30pm in the Bissell building, 140 St. George Street Room 728. Please email sexual.diversity@utoronto.ca with any accessibility concerns.

Juana María Rodríguez is a Professor of Ethnic Studies, Gender and Women’s Studies, and Performance Studies at UC Berkeley. Professor Rodríguez is the author of Queer Latinidad: Identity Practices, Discursive Spaces (NYU Press, 2003); Sexual Futures, Queer Gestures, and Other Latina Longings (NYU Press 2014) which won the Alan Bray Memorial Book Prize at the Modern Language Association and was a Lambda Literary Foundation Finalist for LGBT Studies, and she served as a co-editor of the special issue of TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly on “Trans Studies en las Americas.” Her third monograph, Puta Life: Seeing Latinas, Working Sex, is in production at Duke University Press.


The Sexual Representation Collection Annual Speaker Series is an annual lecture given by an esteemed scholar who is recognized for their research as it relates to pornography and/or representations of sexuality, and works to highlight the Bonham Centre’s Sexual Representation Collection, Canada’s largest university-based collection of pornography.

The University of Toronto does not currently mandate masks. "However, the use of a medical mask in high-density indoor spaces when physical distancing is not possible is strongly encouraged. The University is a mask-friendly environment, and we ask everyone to respect each other’s decisions, comfort levels, and health needs." You can find more information about UofT's COVID-19 Planning Updates here: https://www.utoronto.ca/utogether/covid-19-planning-update