[An] example of a public performance of marginality that critically responds to the Nicaraguan regime’s theatricality of power is the performance of Shayra, a twenty-four-year-old gay transvestite man, in the fringe circus called King Cat in a modest barrio of Managua. Escaping years of mistreatment from family, neighbors, and society at large, Shayra dances, lip syncs, and makes community with a number of other young Nicaraguan barrio dwellers. Many of those she meets also earn a living through performances in these spaces and try to restore a sense of agency in a world biased by the politics of machismo, homophobia, class exploitation, political corruption, and violence. Shayra’s displays of marginality in undesirable urban areas—my focus here—comprise an individual reaction to the politics of excluding some segments of the population (homosexuals and other marginalized barrio dwellers) from the social and political spheres of the nation. Exclusion in this sense is not only political; it also implies social exclusion in economic and other related terms.
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This book is in the Contemporary Global Performing Arts book series by John Clum (Duke University).
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