White passing? No! Seeing myself in my own light
Toward the end of the 2018 spring semester at the University of Delaware (UD), the WOMS/SGST 200: Introduction to Sexualities and Gender Studies course hosted a queer and trans people of color (QTPOC) panel. The aim of the panel was to create a space for QTPOC to share their experiences at the University of Delaware, a predominantly white institution. The undergraduate teaching assistant who coordinated the panel, Om, had invited a few QTPOC to participate. When only one person showed up, QTPOC students from the class decided to share their experiences on the panel. Om, who identifies as a queer nonbinary Afro-Arab Muslim person, facilitated the panel and at one point posed the question, “Have you ever faced discrimination for being a POC as well as a queer and/or trans person?” Om, Malcolm, and Brianna, all black-identified, shared their experiences with racism and discrimination. Alyssa, a Colombian, Puerto Rican, and Italian cis1bisexual person, said that she “looked white” when...
Our deepest appreciation goes to Salvador Vidal-Ortiz for encouraging us to pursue this line of research and collective thinking, and for his critical and generous feedback. Sandra Alvarez and Susy Zepeda offered insights, support, and commentary at a critical moment in the writing process. Big thanks and respect to all the University of Delaware students who participated in the collaborative self-reflection process and labored to work through conflict and productive tension.
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