Queering Dislocations: Returning to Filipinx Kinship as Ethno-specificity and Critique in Diasporic Filipinx Educational Organizing in Vancouver

John Paul Catungal, University of British Columbia


Theorizing Filipinx Diaspora Mobilities, Circulations, and Entanglements


This paper examines the strategic mobilization of Filipinx kinship relations (including the roles of ate, kuya, and katapid) in community efforts by Filipinx Canadian organizations in Greater Vancouver to address educational incompletion among diasporic Filipinx youth in the city-region. Drawing on a community partnered research project with the Kababayan Academic Mentorship Program (KAMP) and their history of educational programming, organizing, and activisms for the local Filipinx diaspora, I theorize diasporic Filipinxs’ return to Filipinx kinship relations as a transnationally inflected political practice through which Filipinx youth and community organizers name, critique, and refuse the queering of the migrant family by both the Canadian and the Philippine nation-states. I highlight three functions of the return to Filipinx kinship: (1) as a powerful assertion of ethno-racial intimacy in contexts of diasporic displacement and racial minorization, (2) as a subtle critique of the state-sanctioned violence of family separations resulting from migration and labour policies, and (3) as a foundational practice of peer and intergenerational support in the face of abandonment by racialized educational institutions and systems. In short, in their return to Filipinx kinship terms and forms, diasporic Filipinx youth and organizers not only untether the “familial” from the biological, but also refuse educational incompletion as a manifestation of the racialization and queering of diasporic Filipinxs in Vancouver

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CCSEAS Conference 2021 |