Posted by: j | December 6, 2007

Aguilar-San Juan, I think you forgot something.

I want to start this by saying that I really appreciated Aguilar-San Juan’s perspective in “Going Home”. I think she addressed some issues that really needed attention to be brought to. I feel a special connection to this text because a close friend of mine identifies as a “Queer Asian-American” (not the coolest excuse for interest, I know) and has expressed a lot of these concerns. I especially like ASJ’s attention to colonialism and the similarities she sees between it and the American gay and lesbian communities expressing desire to “help” other nations’ communities.

In using Aguilar-San Juan as one of the authors for my long essay, I was put in a position to criticize her argument from a perspective differently than I might normally, and something struck me. She discusses the need for community and fighting together in LGBT communities, but she doesn’t seem to address differences in experience for people who have different sexes/gender presentations. What I mean by this is that ASJ doesn’t discuss that lesbian Asian-American identified people experience something different from gay male identified Asian-Americans. Lesbian Asian-American identified women are still viewed as and discriminated against for being women if they pass as straight. Gay Asian-American identified men can choose to pass as straight men and receive less discrimination (NOT saying that passing is easy/fun/great/safe/the right choice). Yes, racism will still play a role for both, but gender is still a big part of the discrimination that queer-identified Asian-Americans face. I just feel like the essay lumped all queer Asian-American identified people together as having the same experience. I feel that how society views your gender still plays a large role in how you face discrimination and shouldn’t be ignored.

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