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the reason I care

Updated: Mar 15

for my students, readers, and community



 

there is no doubt that queers, for our history and significance, have been continuously attracting scholars' attention and interests. for those who attended or are currently enrolled in higher/further education, I believe most of us have experienced the struggle of "finding and filling the research gap".


back when I was a PhD candidate, I was often told “lucky” by my colleagues for being able to study queers who come from a particular population namely trans – “it’s a niche topic”, as some of them said to me. however, as a queer scholar with a background in diaspora studies, it is never my pursuit of using this community to “find the niche”.


instead, I pursue participant observation research on the community with which I identify because I want to make contributions to document queers' voices, cultures and histories so that the study of this community would no longer provoke questions of validity and objectivity: for those who are in the dominant group, i.e. cisgender and heterosexual, who also study themselves, they never have to name their works as the study of “heteronormative people” nor would they be asked to make comparisons to the experiences of “the mainstream community”.


for having this “normativity”, the research subject of their studies is somewhat naturally justified and unquestioned. in this sense, as a queer person myself, I study queers not to “fill the gap” but to challenge the heteronormative assumption in academic works. I consider my teaching and research as my ways of contributing to queer activism and queer community histories. although I am not powerful as I'm untenured, female, and queer, I am committed to confront heteronormativity and make changes in all my capacities, with my students, readers, and community.


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