“I wanted my tiara, damn it” : queer kinship and drag royalty in Felicia Luna Lemus’ Trace elements of random tea parties



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



This paper traces La Llorona’s evolution from ancient Aztec cosmology to Trace Elements of Random Tea Parties, a contemporary novel by Felicia Luna Lemus. I argue that the protagonist’s entrenchment in her own Llorona myth ultimately inhibits the development of a queer community in collaboration with the community of her birth. While Trace Elements of Random Tea Parties leaves the tension between familial duty and personal desire unresolved, the constant narrative oscillation between past tea parties with Leti’s grandmothers and present tea parties with Leti’s chosen lesbian familia opens a space for new kinship structures to emerge, remapping the contours of the Mexican-American family and a woman’s role within it.