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Posts Tagged ‘sexuality’

The connections between race and sexuality that Patricia Collins mentions, for me, are really relatable. Even though she and many other feminist studies writers have focused on African American men and prison power dynamics, as an Asian man, I can see exactly what they might be talking about in my own history.

When I was growing up, I had a really high voice; it was really really high. Some people might have said things such as, “You sound like a girl”. It really was that high pitched. And ultimately, many people at my school assumed that “He must be gay”. It’s true. People even asked me about it.

When I told them “No”, many of my peers were confounded. “That can’t be!”, they said. They assumed I must be lying and this was big issue for them for a long while. But then, many people suddenly turned around and said that I wasn’t lying after all. And I was confused.

It turns out, according to some individuals, that my voice was so “feminine” because I was Asian. “Asian men are just much less masculine and we should just accept you because you can’t help but be that way”.

Now, I realize that this was an example of the connectedness between race and sexuality. Like African American women or the less masculine African American men that were called “bitch” or “dicksucker”, my say on who I was was ignored by my surroundings but instead got replaced by peoples assumptions. And conversely to African Americans who were threatened because of their race, I was “validated” as acceptable because of mine.

No one paused to think that my sexuality, a private issue, was being violated. And then no one stopped to think that “blaming” a whole race of people for my “situation” was sort of racist. Reading such passage has enlightened me that, in this scenario, there were interlocking systems of power at play. Race and gender, in my case and many others, were used as intersectional societal methods of control at the expense of those affected by such assumptions.

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Image Source: http://www.avclub.com/article/theres-mash-rainbow-road-themes-all-8-mario-karts-206528

I’ll focus on my own experience here but I know there are going to be things about my experience that many other queer people can relate to in this regard.

My experience with queerness has never been linear, it has indeed been very queered. It has consistently involved not knowing about a way of being queer and then being introduced to the concept, a moment of reflection and then realizing “oh shit that’s me.” But I’ve also consistently struggled with coming to terms with these new labels and seeing how they fit me.

From the age of 12 to about a month away from turning 21 I had been on a journey of denial, internalization, grief over myself changing and growing, complete secrecy, exploration, etc. etc. about me being bi. I had come out after years of being afraid of myself, but in that time I also developed a yearning for community. When I came back to UMBC after two years of community college I knew that I’d want to seek out my community. Since then my reality as a queer person has shifted so greatly. I feel so liberated. Yet I grieve. I grieve for the ways I have been, not knowing if they are different than who I am now. My sense of self has been questioned. I don’t know if my new state of existing is just blurrier, or if things have just been just out of my sight this entire time and it constantly feels like both. I don’t know how consistent this person who is me is. (more…)

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Talking About Sex

I mentioned in a previous post that talking about sex is very taboo in my family. I have a big family and spend a lot of time with them so naturally I grew up uncomfortable talking about sex too. (more…)

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I had a conversation with people I was close with about nurses who help disabled people find sexual pleasure. Someone brought up a documentary about the nurses who do this and I offered that I heard a little about it in my Unruly Bodies class. I told them briefly about our section on disabled bodies and the things we’ve discussed in class. (more…)

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injection

I went on birth control to take control of my body. while I got some control, I also got a little more than what I bargained for.

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trigger warning: weight, body image, self-hate, suicide mention

Recently, actress Sharon Rooney who plays Rae Earl on the UK TV show My Mad Fat Diary announced that the show is returning for a third season. MMFD is allll about bodies. Rae Earl is the protagonist of the show, a fat sixteen-year-old girl dealing with not only her weight and low self-esteem but also with mental illness. She has a tough push-and-pull relationship with her mother, and a father that is out of the picture.

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It seems to me that no one ever thinks about this, or they never want to talk about it. I want to talk about it. I think it needs to be written down, passed around, and heard over and over again until we replace our present beliefs with the truth.

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