Theses and Dissertations

Growing Up Butchona on the Texas-Mexico Border: A Marimacha Memoir

Julietta Rivera, The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

Copyright 2023 The Author. All Rights Reserved.


Growing Up Butchona on the Border is a queer woman of color memoir that takes place on the Texas-Mexico border. This thesis, in graphic novel form, is a journey in words and pictures that spans through an immigration crisis, a worldwide pandemic, and ends in a rocky road to self-discovery. The novel opens with a touching fictional account of Torita Torcida, a seven-year old Honduran immigrant that makes her way across the Texas-Mexico border with her mother only to be ripped away from her when the truck they were smuggled in is seized by border patrol. In true graphic novel form, images and words come together to tell the story of Torita's struggles on the border and then pick back up thirty years into the future where Torita now goes by Torcida and finds herself in more elaborate predicaments. The first part of this thesis was written in a border crisis where it was necessary to tell the story of countless refugees and the repercussions stemming from their encounters with border officials. It was then that the world went on lockdown with the news that a worldwide pandemic (Covid- 19) was taking the world hostage and the human race would be forever changed. During lockdown a shift took place and mental health began to breakdown leading the path to self-discovery to become more clear. It is here that the lens is turned onto the author and the realization that she is twisted, she is Torcida, becomes apparent.