In the wake of climate change, political instability and migration, this project explores how queer, marginalized communities in the Caribbean construct their definitions, politics and poetics of family.
Chapter I: House of Grace San Juan, Puerto Rico Text by Alejandra Rosa
Among the rocks of their Caribbean archipelago, a group of trans artists and creatives in Puerto Rico have found their safe port. It is a harbor offering them safety and affirmation amid choppy waters. Both a natural resource and cultural construct, it has an appropriately reverential name: House of Grace. House of Grace was founded by María José, a transdisciplinary artist and activist, in the months after Puerto Rico was ravaged by Hurricane Maria in 2017. In the midst of natural disasters and a global pandemic, when rains have flooded and the earth has been shaken, the dancers, performers and writers who make up the House have laid down collective roots, built trust and chosen one another. Despite its name, the House is not a physical domicile but instead a group who work to take care of themselves, and to uplift each other’s power, beauty, and artistic talents amid a worsening culture of discrimination against queer and trans people. Over time, House of Grace has evolved into a tight-knit yet welcoming community—and a family.