The colonization of gender and cultural expectations have contributed to a climate where transgender people of color (transPOC) face familiar/systematic oppression and potential hostility. Family dynamics, external pressures of religious institutions, and the demonization of queer identities may play a role in suppressing the expression of gender identity. Consequently, transPOC who experience this during development may internalize the invalidation. In conversation with Gloria Anzaldúa’s Borderlands-La Frontera: The New Mestiza, we will discuss the ramifications of gender expectations in households of color and challenge the notion that minority stressors can reduce the distress faced from transphobia. Through the decolonization of gender and the acknowledgment of intersectional stressors, we may learn to aid transgender youth of color, reversing the stigma around diverse gender identities.
In accordance with the main themes – gender identity, conformity, minority stressors, and intersectionality – I will be consulting sociological theory relating to the gendering and racializing of the body, gender construction, and dual consciousness. Key sociologists include Charles Wright Mills on the sociological imagination, W.E.B Du Bois on the theory of the double conscience, Karin A. Martin on the gendered body in early development, and Georg Simmel on the concept of the stranger. Further empirical research on minority stress among transgender youth (Hatchel et al. 2018), familiar relations (Schmitz et al. 2020), and community building among transgender people (Stone et al. 2020) will also be reviewed to examine the necessity of gender decolonization, consequences of cultural gender expectations, and the need for a healthy support system.
As a non-binary, genderqueer Latine, it is my hope that this will encourage further dialogue of what it means to be a transgender person in a household of color. Recognition and deconstruction of our own implicit biases are required to facilitate self-acceptance and eventually, self -actualization of transPOC.