Dangers of Passing

I Am Hapa

         Since we’ve been talking about passing, I thought it might be helpful to extrapolate the idea a bit. When we talk about racial identities, there is a degree of pressure to convert, pass, and cover–think of skin lightening creams in India, hair straightening within the Black community, and the abundance of plastic surgery in South Korea. I’m talking about it here in the sense of sexuality/gender identity, but how do you see yourself engaging in these practices in your every day life?

When Jeffrey Weeks discusses the construction of heterosexuality, he indicates that our social hierarchy includes a hierarchy of sexualities, with heterosexuality at the top. These power structures are evident not only in the comparison of heterosexuality versus homosexuality, but in the manner Western society uses to pressure transgender and non-binary people to conform to a cisnormative gender hierarchy. Utilizing Kenji Yoshino’s concept of…

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