Julio torres and the queer potentialities of U.S. Central American representation

Nathan Rossi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article analyzes the cultural work of queer Salvadoran comedian Julio Torres through the Muñozian lens of queer utopian aesthetics and ethnic camp. Through textual and discursive analysis, it establishes how Torres’ comedy disrupts dominant images of male Central American migrants as violent gang members, as well as how Torres creates a space for queer U.S. Central American subjectivities in the Latinx media imaginary. This article also examines Torres’ advocacy work alongside his comedy to consider the extent to which both uphold economic value as central to evaluating the worthiness of immigrants seeking U.S. citizenship. This approach that considers the affordances and limitations of utopian aesthetics illuminates the contradictions in contemporary U.S. Central American representation. I argue that Torres’ cultural work offers glimpses into queerer future U.S. Central American representations and immigration rights discourses that ensure that queer migrant lives are more livable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCritical Studies in Media Communication
StateAccepted/In press - 2022


  • celebrity advocacy
  • Central American studies
  • immigration
  • Latinx media studies
  • Latinx representation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication


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