Ms. Christian Joy P. Cruz, university researcher at the UP Population Institute, has co-authored two journal articles recently published this year which examine Filipino queer culture.
Ms. Cruz collaborated with Dr. Emmanuel David, Assistant Professor of Women and Gender Studies at the University Of Colorado Boulder. David is a second-generation Filipino-American.
Cruz and David’s first journal article entitled Big, Bakla, and Beautiful: Transformations on a Manila Pageant Stage, “explores the cultural politics of beauty among fat bakla subjects in the urban Philippines.” They utilized primary observations to present a descriptive picture of a beauty contest for plus-size queer and gender nonconforming contestants. Through the article, they also show how these actors, by putting their bodies and subordinate statuses on display, constructed a ‘counterpublic’ which buck mainstream trends. Moreover, they also illustrate the use of this unique pageant as an advocacy platform.
The second journal article called Deaf Turns, Beki Turns, Transformations: Toward New Forms of Deaf Queer Sociality explores deaf queer cultures and advocacy in the Philippines. This article examines the queer/crip nexus as it intersects with discourses of contagion and normalization. The authors employ Michele Friedner’s concept of “deaf turns” as an analytic to understand a deaf gay beauty pageant and a series of HIV and AIDS awareness video blogs (vlogs) for and about deaf LGBT Filipinos, which seem to be vivid examples of deaf orientations and similitude. They argue that these pageant actors carve out deaf-centered spaces in which they emphasize deaf queer worth and value. They also argue that the vlog, through its deployment of beki sign language, in contradistinction to Filipino Sign Language, not only pushes parts of hearing society to make deaf turns and quarter turns, but also exhibits what they describe as a beki turn, a reorientation toward beki culture. They claim that as deaf turns and beki turns come in contact, they produce new forms of deaf queer sociality.
Big, Bakla and Beautiful is published in Volume 46 (1-2) of the Women's Studies Quarterly (DOI: 10.1353/wsq.2018.0006), while Deaf Turns, Beki Turns, Transformations is in Volume 30 (1) of the Feminist Formations (DOI: 10.1353/ff.2018.0005).
Cover photos of the two journals where the co-authored articles are published