This chapter explores the concept of the open secret as an ideological mechanism for the circulation of narrow ways of knowing and not knowing, at times formulated as sexual identity. Focusing on narratives of maquiladora workers and organizers in Mexico, it considers how homosexual identity functions as an open secret in maquiladoras and their workplaces and communities, along with some of the more unspeakable erotic bonds forged among those who participate in labor organizing. The chapter describes two faces of the open secret that both saturate the affect-culture of organizing: one a disciplinary technology aimed at conserving existing norms and power relations, the other a subversive and expansive counterdiscourse. It also examines how homosexuality haunts organizing on the Mexican side of the border, encrypted in innuendos that morph into threats. Finally, it suggests that affect-culture is often articulated through the discourses of sexuality both north and south of the border.
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