1942 - 2004

“A woman who writes has power, and a woman with power is feared.”

– Gloria Anzaldúa

Gloria E. Anzaldúa was a guiding force in defining the contemporary Chicano/Chicana movement and a leader in lesbian and queer theory and identity. Born in southern Texas in 1977 she moved to California where she supported herself through her writing, lectures, and occasionally teaching courses in feminism, Chicano studies, or creative writing. She is perhaps best known for co-editing This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color (1981) with Cherri Moraga, a groundbreaking publication not only as a collection by feminists of color, but also for confronting the racism/classism found at the time in feminist thinking. The collection is also noteworthy for fully embracing lesbian voices and concerns and making a clear case that feminism should be inclusionary. Anzaldúa also edited the follow-up volume Making Face: Making Soul/Hacienda Caras: Creative and Critical Perspectives by Women of Color (1990). Voted one of the 100 Best Books of the 20th century by both The Hungry Mind Review and Utne Reader, her semi-autobiographical book, Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza (1987), explored the borders between countries, languages, genders, the classes, and even within oneself. She also wrote several bi-lingual children’s books and co-edited This Bridge We Call Home: Radical Visions for Transformation (2002). Anzaldúa was adamant about the limiting quality of labels and against all things that separated people. For her, inclusion was essential in the gay movement as well. She was one of the first to champion the “otherness” of the queer movement. The recipient of numerous accolades and awards, she died in 2004 from complications due to diabetes.

Lesson Plan


Gender Female

Sexual Orientation Lesbian

Gender Identity Cisgender

Ethnicity Latinx

Faith Construct Agnostic

Nations Affiliated United States

Era/Epoch Information Age (1970-present) Second-wave Feminism (1960-1990) Third-wave Feminism (1990-2012)

Field(s) of Contribution

Advocacy & Activism

Art, Music, Literature & Theater





Media & Communications


Social Justice

Social Sciences

US History

Commemorations & Honors

Gloria E. Anzaldúa Poetry Prize Awarded Annually in Conjunction with the Anzaldúa Literary Trust

Gloria E. Anzaldúa Book Prize Awarded Annually by the National Women's Studies Association

Before Columbus Foundation American Book Award For This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color (1986)

Lambda Lesbian Small Book Press Award (1991)

National Endowment for the Arts Fiction Award (1991)

American Studies Association Lifetime Achievement Award Bode-Pearson Prize (2001)

Society for the Study of Gloria Anzaldúa Established (2007)

Google Doodle Commemorating Anzaldúa's 75th Birthday (2017)


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Original Biography Author
Victor Salvo
Biography Edited By
Owen Keehnen
Resources Coordination
Carrie Maxwell