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Indybay Feature

Cindy Cruz - LGBTQ Youth Talk Back: Some Thoughts on Resistance and Ethnography

Date:
Friday, April 15, 2011
Time:
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
Event Type:
Speaker
Organizer/Author:
Location Details:
Wildavsky Conference Room, 2538 Channing Way, Berkeley Center for the Study of Social Change, Institute for the Study of Societal Issues, UC Berkeley

LGBTQ Youth Talk Back: Some Thoughts on Resistance and Ethnography

Cindy Cruz, Assistant Professor of Education, University of California, Santa Cruz

This ethnography begins in a large urban metropolis in the US, where I compiled the stories and testimonios of 43 LGBTQ homeless youth between the ages of 14-21. In this research I found that LGBTQ street youth stories, despite their broken and fragmented narratives, often connect their life experiences directly to the health and condition of their own bodies. It is this queer homeless body that is centered in a story of resistance, as these bodies are highly restricted and contained by teachers, doctors/paramedics, social workers and the police. Despite the containment of their bodies, these LGBTQ street youth consistently create spaces that move them away from the tropes of infection, contamination, and deviant sexualities that are inscripted onto the bodies of queer youth. Using the framework of resistance from the work of Maria Lugones (2003), this essay argues that researchers must develop new abilities to see and acknowledge resistance in these tight spaces. The trope of contamination and irresponsibility intersect many of the experiences of LGBTQ street youth--the discourse of infection, excessive sexualities, and the strategies of survival sex--in ways that implicate not only LGBTQ street youth, but also other marginalized bodies.

Cindy Cruz's talk is hosted by the Center for the Study of Social Change at the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues, UC Berkeley.
Added to the calendar on Mon, Jan 31, 2011 11:29AM
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