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In the course of studying and theorizing about Latinas/os and their location in law and culture, critical theory has been simultaneously liberating and restraining, confining, and coercive. Critical theorists have made substantial inroads in recognizing the intersectionality, multidimensionality, multiplicity, and interconnectivities of the intersections of race and sex. These paradigms are central to an analysis of the Latina/o condition within the Estados Unidos (United States). However, much work remains to be done in other areas - such as culture, language, sexuality, and class - that are key to Latinas'/os' self-determination and full citizenship.

Cognizant of, and notwithstanding such limitations, this essay will explore the condition of Latinas within the fronteras estado unidenses (United States borderlands), particularly concentrating on issues of culture, gender, sex, and sexuality -- grounds upon which Latinas are subordinated, oppressed, and marginalized by racialized and gendered normative majority mandates as well as by gendered cultural strictures. As the piece will develop, Latinas embark on daily border crossings. Their journeys are defined and imposed on them by the myriad territories they inhabit. Latinas may be multiple aliens: in majority communities by virtue of many degrees of separation -- sex, ethnicity, culture, language, and sexuality; within their own culture, Latinas are "others" simply because of their sex or, even more distancing, their sexuality; and within the sexual minority community because of their sex, race, and ethnicity. These multiple barriers within and outside group fronteras are definitional in the formation of, access to, and expression of Latinas' identity(ies).