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Sidney Wong

Sidney Wong presents at the Rainbow Studies Now symposium, held on 23 November 2023 at Te Herenga Waka - Victoria University of Wellington.

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In the presentation Sidney Wong discusses the intersection of queer and Asian identities, particularly in the context of Aotearoa New Zealand. Wong begins by reflecting on their own journey, revealing a personal struggle with identity and the challenge of inhabiting multiple 'closets' related to their queer and Asian identities. They delve into the history of Chinese migration, highlighting the complex interplay of cultural heritage, migration, and identity formation.

Central to Wong's discussion is the critique of the term 'Asian' as a misnomer and a statistical tool, emphasizing its failure to encapsulate the diverse experiences and identities within Asian communities. They discuss racialization and racial formation, pointing out how these processes shape identities and experiences of Asian people in societies where they are seen as 'other'. Specifically, Wong speaks about the Chinese experience in Aotearoa, marked by contradiction and expectation, and how these dynamics have contributed to a form of double closeting for queer Asians.

Wong also addresses historical and social contexts, including pandemics, famine, and civil wars that have influenced migration patterns. They speak about the erasure of history and the ways in which queer identities and relationships within Asian communities have been repressed and stigmatized. The presentation includes a discussion of discriminatory legislation and social practices that have marginalized Asian communities, forcing them to become invisible to avoid discrimination.

Wong concludes by emphasizing the importance of reconnecting with heritage and culture, and the role of community organizations in helping queer Asians form a sense of identity. They stress the need to honor ancestral histories and to support and stand in solidarity with other marginalized communities.

This summary is created using Generative AI. Although it is based on the recording's transcription, it may contain errors or omissions. Click here to learn more about how this summary was created.

Record date:23rd November 2023
Location:Te Herenga Waka - Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington
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Archive:The master recording is archived at the Alexander Turnbull Library (reference number to be confirmed).