How might transnational flows of Asian media cultures, specifically anime, manga, cosplay, and hentai (AMCH), problematize West-centric “transgender” identity categories? In this seminar, Ming Wei Ang will present on research (co-conducted with Gabrielle Ibasco) on some fans’ imagined and enacted gender experimentation, and their negotiation with the option of transitioning. Our research challenges the assumption that transitioning is the necessary outcome of “serious” genderqueer experimentation, while transient forms of genderbending must be trivial. Gender experimentation inspired by AMCH can lead to serious negotiation of dilemmas about transitioning, even if individuals do not ultimately transition. This highlights the fluidity and diversity of gender and sexuality experiences beyond static LGBT+ categories.
Ming Wei Ang is a Ph.D. student at the Graduate College, Nanyang Technological University. His research interests include desire and intimacy, sexuality and gender, and queer theory. His previous research examined sexual racism within app-based gay intimacy-seeking, and the contextualized mobile media practices of marginalized people. He is passionate about foregrounding the manifestation of queerness in unexpected forms beyond static identity categories, and how the unveiling and affirming of these tendencies can lead to greater solidarity challenging social hierarchies.