Our city of colours: queer/Asian publics in transpacific Vancouver
ABSTRACT: This article examines the contested relation between discourses of ethnic subjectivity and queer critique of homophobia and transphobia in Vancouver, a transpacific city in Canada that is being touted as “the most Asian city outside of Asia.” I analyse the perceived association of Chinese communities with moral conservatism and the concomitant existence of a vibrant queer Asian cultural scene in the city as a discursive clash between two cultural publics. I examine the underlying dynamics of their antagonism as well as their potential for mutual engagement.
Helen Hok-Sze Leung is a Professor in the Department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies and the co-director of the Institute for Transpacific Cultural Research at Simon Fraser University. She has published widely on queer/trans studies and is the author of Undercurrents: Queer Culture and Postcolonial Hong Kong (UBC Press) and Farewell My Concubine: A Queer Film Classic (Arsenal Pulp Press). Her current research projects include a SSHRC-funded study of transpacific film cities and a series of articles on queer cinema and sound.