Don’t Count on Us Dying: Queer/Trans* of Color Abolitionist Antiviolence Against Carceral Accountability (working title)
As hate crimes research and policy continues to prioritize criminal justice reform in a closed U.S. circuit, focusing on the efficacy of data collection methods, policing and prosecutorial practices and the constancy of “victim underreporting”, this project argues that, predicated on anti-Black, heteropatriarchal and settler-colonial ideologies, hate crimes quantitative data and policy reproduce discursive forms of counting and accountability that demand only positivist state-based reform via improved collection and categorization practices.
The project argues that Los Angeles County (LAC) serves as a quintessential site for understanding the technological development of U.S. anti-hate crime activism on a local to transnational scale. Since the 1984 approval of Senate Bill 2080, California and LAC have modeled the collection and aggregation of hate crimes data for the U.S. and international democratic counterparts. Focusing on a critical three decades (1980s-2010s), this project unpacks how the material expansion of Los Angeles law enforcement agencies reinforced compulsory logics of proper respectable sexual citizenship for LGBTQ and immigrant communities, particularly in cases pursuant to reporting hate crimes, revealing immigration status and or obtaining amnesty. Combining a legal history and cultural analysis of legislation, policy recommendations and pilot programs of what we now call “hate crimes”, the project brings together collective ethnography and participatory action research in collaboration with Los Angeles-based LGBTQ of color community advocates, service providers, activists and organizers--illustrating the breadth of community voices and invaluable first-hand experiential knowledge that strongly distinguish “safety” outside of law-enforcing state agencies.
At the intersections of hate crimes reporting and U-visas - this project asks how do both state antiviolence technologies serve to contain and penalize queer and trans* people of color at the margins. How might investigating such questions via a queer/trans* of color critique, denaturalize oppositional carceral logics of deserving/undeserving, victim/perpetrator, and human/nonhuman?
Speculative Actuaries of Law: Criminalization of “Hate” in Los Angeles (1984 – 2014)
Chair: Dylan Rodriguez
Committee: Christina Hanhardt, Fred Moten, Jodi Kim
Fields, disciplines, interlocutors
Critical ethnic/race studies, queer/trans* of color critique, queer studies, critical prison studies, community/participatory action research, radical social movements, transnational studies, LGBTQ history
During the course of my M.A. in Asian American Studies at University of California, Los Angeles, I conducted research in Taiwan with local transgender and gender nonconforming activists. Although most literature compartmentalizes such topics as either influenced by U.S. LGBT rights discourse or the “intolerance” of big red China, it was critical for these applied research methods to center the organizer’s voices and their multilayered understanding of democracy and human rights beyond a false binary of progressive democracy versus fascist communism. These are the type of critical investigative tools I advocate that both the field of transnational LGTBQ studies and students engage with, ones that do not assume a specific top-down relationship to “community” or the politics of “marginalized identity.” I will be revisiting this set of research for a future book project, and am currently working on a related but freestanding academic journal article titled “Trans-Racializing Masculinity: Peter Liang and the Premature Tragic Death of Akai Gurley” to be submitted for academic journal review in 2017. This article will focus on racialized masculinities, in a transnational diasporic framework, as comparatively imbricated through a fixed prism of white supremacist masculinity.