Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz was the remarkable 17th century Mexican nun, poet, composer, philosopher, and feminist, whose legacy continues to inspire women, educators and the LGBTQIA+ community. Despite societal norms she taught herself to read and write, becoming one of the most educated women of her day and one of the most vocal advocates for a woman’s right to learn.  A member of the Hieronymite order, Sor de la Cruz assembled one of the largest libraries in the New World, while writing poetry that is praised for its lyrical beauty and exploration of female sexuality.  She is recognized as one of the premier figures in the Golden Age of Spanish Literature and one of its major American-born contributors. While her contemporaries gossiped about her liaisons with women, it is in her written words that one can see her passion for the same sex and her belief that love need not follow heterosexual norms. She acknowledged being “divided in two parts,” – between passion and reason, sensuality and religious life.  Sor Juana has been honored on Mexican stamps and currency, with her former convent now the University of the Cloister for Sor Juana.

“I don’t study to know more, but to ignore less.”   Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz



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