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Art Critique Essay Humanities Nonfiction

Performance, Fantasy, or Narrative: LGBTQ+ Asian American Identity Through Kpop Media and Fandom

By Linda Kuo , Simone Perez-Garcia , Lindsey Burke , Vic Yamasaki, and Thomas Le, 2020

LGBTQ+ Asian Americans experience intersecting forms of oppression, and due to the limited research on this underserved population, it is important to understand their lived experiences and the factors that enhance and endanger their health. The absence of positive representations of LGBTQ+ Asian Americans in the media upholds stereotypes and feelings of invisibility that have harmful effects. Studying LGBTQ+ Asian Americans using Kpop media offers a new and timely way to understand these identities and outcomes of well-being. This study qualitatively explored how 16 college-aged LGBTQ+ Asian Americans identify with Kpop and reconstruct representations to protect themselves from negative influences surrounding their identities. Using grounded theory methodology, this study found that Kpop functions as a source of representation and social connection that supports LGBTQ+ Asian Americans. Findings also illustrate how LGBTQ+ Asian Americans engage in Kpop fan labor to create narratives that can mitigate the harmful effects of marginalization. KEYWORDS: LGBTQ+ Asian Americans, Kpop, representation, fandom, fan labor, resilience, race, gender, sexuality, media

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