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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Gendered sexualities in migration : play, pageantry, and the politics of performing Filipino-ness in settler colonial Canada Farrales, May Leanne


This dissertation examines the sexualities of Filipino/as in Canada who live and work on the traditional and ancestral territories of the Musqueam, Skxwú7mesh, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples (Vancouver). Specifically, it sketches out how gender and sexual paradigms in the Philippines are brought to Canada through labour migration and are re-scripted in relation to racial, gender and sexual regimes in Canada. I examine how these negotiations take shape at three particular sites and community-organized spaces. The first site in which I attend to the making of sexualities is at Filipino basketball leagues and games organized in the local community. The second site is at community-organized beauty and religious pageants. And finally, I consider how sexualities are being articulated and worked with by self-identifying Filipino/a queer, lesbian, gay and transgender organizers and activists. I work with interviews and observations I collected at each of these community-organized spaces. To analyze how sexualities are negotiated at these sites, I use a queer diaspora, queer of colour and transnational framework that attempts to be mindful of Indigenous critiques that urge for scholarship to take into account the ongoing processes of colonialism in settler colonial nations like Canada. The dissertation suggests that sexualities taking shape at basketball games, beauty pageants and in Filipino/a queer spaces are influenced by dominant racial, gender and sexual paradigms formed in the Philippines' colonial encounters at the same time as they are negotiated in relation to normative white heteropatriarchal settler colonial logics in Canada. More broadly I argue that the racialized, classed and gendered sexualities of Filipino/as are being made and remade in the overlapping colonial and capitalist geographies of Canada's and the Philippines' distinct nation-building projects. I suggest that engaging with these geographies poses critical questions of place and politics for Filipina/os in Canada by offering ways of understanding nation that might wear away at the normalizing logics.

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