UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

White supremacy and patriarchal cisgenderism in US nation-building and resistance by transgender and non-binary people of colour McKee, Lyra

Abstract

This thesis takes as its starting point the continued violence against transgender and non-binary people of colour and Two-Spirit people in the United States. I first address theories of racialization and racism, drawing on the work of Andrea Smith to identify three subsets of white supremacy: anti-blackness, settler colonialism, and xenophobia. Next, I define patriarchal cisgenderism as the system of oppression that privileges toxic masculinity and denigrates femininity and gender variance. These two intersecting systems of oppression, white supremacy and patriarchal cisgenderism, combine within necropolitical US nation-building and are manifested in the prison industrial complex, the Native reservation system, and immigration enforcement, which are each aligned primarily with anti-blackness, settler colonialism, and xenophobia, respectively. These manifestations of white supremacy and patriarchal cisgenderism constitute and incite state-sanctioned violence that especially targets trans and non-binary people of colour and Two-Spirit people. The prison industrial complex, the Native reservation system, and immigration enforcement are analyzed in both their commonalities and specificities in order to show how they are structured by white supremacy and patriarchal cisgenderism. The final chapter of the thesis posits non-compliance and performing otherwise as modes of embodied resistance against necropolitical US nation-building. By highlighting performance art and activism by transgender and non-binary people of colour, I show how performing otherwise constitutes a form of resistance from which activists can and should learn. I assert that resistance to the white supremacy and patriarchal cisgenderism of necropolitical US nation-building must be led by transgender and non-binary people of colour and Two-Spirit people since they are most impacted by these systems of oppression.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International

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