Document Type

Working Paper

Publication Date



Struggles of liberation take many forms, are born from many terrains, and conceived by many minds. Historical circumstance engenders the shape revolutions will take as much as it engenders the acts revolutionaries will carry out. In the history of Nicaragua myriad forces have converged to create a state calling out for change; a call which has been answered in various forms. My purpose here is to illustrate the multiple factors which informed lesbian rights movements in Nicaragua in the late 1980s. I take as my starting point the notion that historical context, and ideologies which shape historical context, both served to facilitate and foreclose the possibilities available to lesbian organizing. I will begin by sketching a brief history of Nicaragua in order to understand the legacy against which the Frente Sandinista de Liberacion Nacional articulated its material and ideological positions; positions which later became embodied in the mythical making of Sandino. From these ideological foundations, I will trace the material changes the FSLN implemented during its tenure of rule. Utilizing the refrain of women's liberation as a window, I will examine the formation of a gay and lesbian rights agenda. In discussing lesbian rights organizations and the conservative backlash they continue to endure, I hope to weave ideological tropes within substantive, political change.


Latin American and Iberian Institute

Language (ISO)



The Latin American and Iberian Institute of the University of New Mexico


Nicaragua, gay and lesbian rights, post-Sandinismo