Coming Out as Queer Asian Youth in Canada: Examining Cultural Narratives of Identity and Community

Ruthann Lee
Sociology and Equity Studies in Education, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (University of Toronto)
September, 2003
 

Abstract

This thesis examines cultural narratives of identity and community formation in Canada through an analysis of interviews with six self-identified queer Asian youth from the Greater Toronto Area. It critically examines the concept of “coming out” by highlighting the complex and often contradictory positionings that queer Asian youth may find themselves in having to negotiate their identities and subjectivities in different contexts of marginalization. Overall, it argues that “queer Asian youth” are positioned as secondary citizens by the Canadian nation-state. However, this thesis also argues that individuals and communities may take up the category of “queer Asian youth” to contest and characterize the profoundly unstable nature of social categories such as race, class, gender, nation and sexuality.
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We wish to acknowledge the financial support of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council for their financial support through theAid to Scholarly Journals Program.

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