Outside the Lines: Conversations about Transgender Asian American Youth

Tue, Mar 25, 2014 | 7:30 PM | Student Activities Center (613 George Street)

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The Tyler Clementi Center’s TSQUARED2 working group presents a program featuring a lecture by Professor Martin F. Manalansan IV, “Queer Words of Wisdom: Generating Futures and Transforming the Present,” which will be followed by a panel discussion about the experiences and lives of transgender and gender non-conforming Asian American youth.

In “Queer Words of Wisdom,” Professor Manalansan addresses the ways in which “transgender” has become part of the everyday vocabulary of queer folks. While most people see it as a very recent contemporary creation, his presentation looks at how immigrants inhabit and negotiate such a category as part of a longer and more fraught history. In particular, his talk focuses on the life story of Imelda, a Filipina undocumented queer immigrant who narrates a life of encountering and altering identities and practices around gender and sexuality. Her story opens up a capacious path to understanding gender and sexuality in the twenty-first century.


Martin F. Manalansan IV is associate professor of Anthropology and Asian American Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a leading scholar in LGBTQ studies. He is the author of Global Divas: Filipino Gay Men in the Diaspora (Duke University Press, 2003), the co-editor (with Arnaldo Cruz-Malave) of Queer Globalizations: Citizenship and the Afterlife of Colonialism (New York University Press, 2002), and the co-editor (with Robert Ku and Anita Mannur) of Eating Asian America: A Food Studies Reader (New York University Press, 2013). He is completing a book manuscript entitled Queer Dwellings and co-editing two forthcoming anthologies, The Marcosian Era: Cultures of a Dictatorship in Late 20th Century Philippines and The Ever Loyal City: Manila and Its Global Discontents. He is the social science review editor for GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, and the co-editor of two book series: the Asian Canadian series at the University of Toronto Press (2011-present) and the Asian American Experience series at the University of Illinois Press (2009-present). He has served on the editorial board of American Anthropologist (2005-12) and on the advisory board of the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies (CLAGS) at the Graduate Center, CUNY (1999-present).

Emma Kay is a Korean Happa American transgender woman and Rutgers graduate.

Ethan Lu is pursuing graduate study in clinical psychology at the University of Massachusetts Boston. While at Rutgers, Ethan served as a consultant on trans issues for the Center for Social Justice Education and LGBT Communities. Along with other transgender Asian American youth, Ethan is featured in the YouTube channel, transAPIvoices. Click here to learn more about this YouTube channel.


Anna Phung is currently the interim program coordinator for the Center for Social Justice Education and LGBT Communities at Rutgers University. She graduated with a BA in sociology at Rutgers this past January. During her time as a student, she was highly involved in forming a safer space group for queer Asian American and Pacific Islander students now called Q&A: Queer + Asian. This fall, she will be attending graduate school to further her experiences in student affairs.


Engaging with the dual meanings of “transition,” the TSQUARED2 working group focuses on the college transition experience for transgender and gender non-conforming youth. The group continues the important conversations initiated by the Institute for Research on Women’s seminar, “Trans Studies: Beyond Hetero/Homo Normativities,” during the 2012-2013 academic year.


Office of the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs | Department of American Studies | Office of the Livingston Campus Dean | Collective for Asian American Studies | Institute for Research on Women | Asian American Cultural Center | Center for Social Justice Education and LGBT Communities | Office of the Senior Dean of Students | Committee to Advance Our Common Purposes