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Thank you for taking

an interest in me

and my work.

I invite you to roam

around my website and

learn more about me

my books and other publications.

You can also get some

insight into projects

and interests that keep

me busy in

Tucson, Arizona.

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Re-Activating Tucson's Downtown History

The University of Arizona's Confluencenter hosted a

"Show & Tell" discussion that focused on efforts to re-activate Mexican/Mexican American history on January 27, 2023 at the Sosa-Carrillo House (which is now the Mexican American Heritage & History Museum). I, Betty Villegas, and Mayor Regina Romero were the featured speakers. Watch it HERE. You can find my presentation at the 1:00 mark. It was one of coldest evenings in Tucson but the Confluencenter staged a warm and informative event.

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Together On the Air: LIVE on Radio

On December 10, 2022, I participated in a "live" radio event at the ONE Archives Foundation in Los Angeles. This celebration launched their current online exhibit, "Together On the Air." 

It chronicles the history of Radio GLLU, the first bilingual LGBTQ+ radio program in the U.S. From the mid-1980s through the 1990s, Radio GLLU was hosted and run by the Los Angeles-based Gay and Lesbian Latinos Unidos (GLLU), one of the first LGBTQ+ Latinx organizations in the country. Listen to the "live" launch event that I participated in HERE.

To access the ONE Archives'

"The Together On The Air Online Exhibition" CLICK HERE.

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U.S. Transportation Secretary

Pete Buttigieg 

holding a copy of

In the Shadows of the Freeway:

Growing Up Brown & Queer

During his visit to Tucson on August 11, 2022, Mayor Regina Romero (also in the photo) gifted Buttigieg my book that describes the steady expansion of Interstate 10 and how it separated and isolated a barrio of brown and poor residents from the rest of the city. 

To read a related news item of Buttigieg's visit

and learn more about my insights regarding

 infrastructural agendas CLICK HERE

Want to know more about the book?

More about In the Shadows of the Freeway HERE

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In the Shadows of The Freeway:

Growing Up Brown & Queer

Released Nov. 23, 2019

"A searing memoir of legacy, loss, and love. Infusing historical research with childhood memories, Lydia Otero poignantly reveals the weight of urban development on Mexican communities in postwar Tucson. With rare insight, In the Shadow of the Freeway is a singular contribution to Latina/o history, urban studies, queer theory, and gender studies."

Vicki L Ruiz 

University of California, Irvine

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banner at 1987 L.A. PRIDE

A documentary film featuring eight members of GAY & LESBIAN LATINOS UNIDOS (GLLU) in Los Angeles, California, one of the first Queer Latinx organizations in the country premiered on June 3, 2022. I was one of the members interviewed.
Learn more about the documentary
"Unidad: Gay and Lesbian Latinos Unidos" 

See a short teaser/clip HERE

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The April 2022 edition of 

High Country News

includes my essay in their special "ARCHIVE" edition.

"My archive: 20 years of

Los Angeles’

LGBTQ+ movement

Released March23, 2022

"In the 20 years I lived in Los Angeles, I acquired 10 different addresses. This doesn’t account for the weeks when I found myself in between apartments, sleeping on friends’ floors or couches. Every time I moved, I protected the contents of a box filled with squirreled-away photographs and memorabilia, souvenirs of events I had attended and brown queer activists I worked alongside. In my gut, I knew that the datebooks, newsletters, documents and photographs in that box were important. They mattered to history and served as a reminder of the forces that shaped my life as a queer of color. Few of the people I remember ever made it into history books; some young men who died of AIDS never even made it into an obituary, or onto an AIDS quilt." 


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Interviews and News Items

Interested in more news items, interviews and publications that have quoted or featured Lydia Otero?

Find more here.

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Alva B. Torres

Compiled by Lydia R. Otero

Released September 23, 2021

Alva B. Torres continues to

inspire me to this day.

It was her role in historic

preservation that drew my

attention as I began

the research that

culminated in the

publication of my book,

La Calle: Spatial Conflicts

and Urban Renewal in a

Southwest City in 2010.

Before writing her weekly columns

— on which Notitas is based —

Torres had organized the

Society for the Preservation of

Tucson’s Plaza de la Mesilla

or La Placita Committee,

the most formidable

resistance effort to

urban renewal that

targeted Tucson’s oldest

barrios in the late 1960s.

This photo of us was taken in

2016 at an awards ceremony.

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The Pima County Public

Library's LGBTQ+

Services Committee

and Nuestras Raíces  presented

"A Conversation with

Lydia R. Otero"

on Saturday,

October 16, 2021.

To learn more about the

Pima County Library

and the teams

who made this

conversation possible,

click HERE.

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NPR featured the


Select Columns From

The Tucson Citizen 

Book Release Party

held on

September 25, 2021

on Arizona Spotlight.

It is the first story

but the entire

program is pretty interesting.

Click HERE to listen.

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Tucson Festival of Books

"Arizona authors Alberto Álvaro Ríos and Lydia R. Otero will discuss their newest books, both of which explore the power of place and community along the border. How much is lost when families are dislocated altogether? Living where we do, these are things for all of us to think about."

Interested? Watch the session HERE.

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Barrio Stories

Lydia Otero's book La Calle inspired an outdoor, site-specific theatrical event, Barrio Stories, produced by Borderlands Theater in 2016 in Tucson’s downtown area. More than 5,000 people attended the play, which was designed to recover the history of a barrio declared expendable by city leaders who purposely devised an urban renewal program to demolish it in the late 1960s. Impressive and grand, the event ran for four days in a space larger than two football fields. It featured forty-one principal actors, required more than a hundred volunteers, and involved about thirty production specialists in set design, sound, media, and choreography. Click here to lean more about the production.

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Select Articles &

Book Chapters

Authored by Lydia Otero

Works based on archival research and oral history that highlight my Latinx and historical studies scholarship

Learn about Lydia Otero's

involvement in 

Historic Preservation. 

Check out their current

project here.

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