Saturday, September 25, 2010

Queer identity and cultural identity

So yesterday at the queer sex talk we discussed a lot having to do with identity and labeling. And while we all came to some kind of agreement about how the word Queer is something people can identify with because it encompasses the fluidity of their sexual identity and doesn't confine them. And today I was reading for school about challenges facing students with diverse cultural background and ethnicity in the classroom. It brought up the point of students who are immigrants or associate with a non-dominant ethnicity, religion, or culture often have a fluid sense of identity. Often students attempt to conform to the dominant culture in school so they fit in and do not isolate themselves, while at home they associate with the traditions and practices of their families and sometimes cultural communities.
I thought about this a lot last semester while I worked on a paper about Muslim Americans in the public school system. These students have to define and then redefine their identity in every situation. And these decisions are often very visible, for example the simple matter of how to dress. There are intense pressures on students from both their families and their peers in school.
The decisions these students make which affect their identity include sexuality, but also include choices about the language they speak, their religious practices, their social habits, the food they eat, the list goes on and on.
I just think it's incredible how many of our personal choices can affect the way other people view us and what labels are assigned to us.

I also read about how teachers should respectfully talk about LGBT issues in the classroom to reduce homophobia in the classroom... but in South Carolina that is pretty much ILLEGAL to do.

And I would really like to redesign this blog to make it prettier but I should probably do my homework.


1 comment:

Jenna Lyles said...

That's really interesting Kim...I think we should talk more about the fluidity of identity in the next QST. It's sad that our society forces us to camouflage ourselves in different situations to maintain the illusion of sameness.