Gay Mexican American youth identity performance: Resilience, disidentification, and the duality of be(long)ing
This study seeks to explain what it means to be gay and Mexican-American in the heteronormative context and climate of American public schooling through the voices and experiences of gay Mexican-American youth. The intersections of a gay Mexican-American youth identity provide a context in which to explore the innumerable ways that varying aspects of identity compliment or contradict one another, collide and divide, or make a person whole. This study seeks to document the ways these youth infiltrate and navigate the social spaces that they encounter in their lives. Moreover, through interviews and conversations, this study attempts to illustrate how a Mexican-American cultural identity informs or obstructs LGBTQ-related issues, and identify whether or not gay Mexican-American youth experience bullying, harassment, and intolerance consistent with the reported experiences of other LGBTQ youth. Through discussions on resilience, disidentification, be(long)ing, and Latino cultural citizenship, this process of identifying, exploring, and explaining the space sought, acquired, and maintained by these gay Mexican-American youth imagines and actualizes the multiple identities that researchers, educators, and parents must consider when assessing attitudes toward and knowledge of LGBTQ youth.