Justin  Dela Cruz

Queering the Closet: How LGBTQ+ Filipino American Undergraduates Disrupt Normative Frameworks of Coming Out

This research examines the ways in which queer Filipino American college students at UC Berkeley obscure, rearticulate, and disrupt normative frameworks of coming out discourse. By focusing on how this group negotiates and experiences the social construction of being “closeted” (the status of partially or completely keeping hidden one’s non-heteronormative sexual orientation to the self or broader society), I seek to understand the methods, mechanisms, and tactics they develop in order to successfully navigate a pivotal, transitory moment in their lives. By conducting one-on-one interviews with queer Filipino American undergraduates, autoethnography, and a critical film analysis of Greg Berlanti’s film, Love, Simon, I explore the intersections of race, ethnicity, sexuality, and gender to understand how identity is negotiated as a means of survival and to articulate the limits of mainstream coming out narratives. This work shall allow me to develop a theoretical framework that destabilizes, complicates, and expands our current understandings of queer Asian diasporic experience.