Synopses & Reviews
A vivid ethnography of the global and transnational dimensions of gay identity as lived by Filipino immigrants in New York City, Global Divas
challenges beliefs about the progressive development of a gay world and the eventual assimilation of all queer folks into gay modernity. Insisting that gay identity is not teleological but fraught with fissures, Martin Manalansan IV describes how Filipino gay immigrants, like many queers of color, are creating alternative paths to queer modernity and citizenship. He makes a compelling argument for the significance of diaspora and immigration as sites for investigating the complexities of gender, race, and sexuality.
Manalansan locates diasporic, transnational, and global dimensions of gay and other queer identities within a framework of quotidian struggles ranging from everyday domesticity to public engagements with racialized and gendered images to life-threatening situations involving AIDS. He reveals the gritty, mundane, and often contradictory deeds and utterances of Filipino gay men as key elements of queer globalization and transnationalism. Through careful and sensitive analysis of these men’s lives and rituals, he demonstrates that transnational gay identity is not merely a consumable product or lifestyle, but rather a pivotal element in the multiple, shifting relationships that queer immigrants of color mobilize as they confront the tribulations of a changing world.
“Global Divas points toward a truly cross-cultural anthropology of queerness in rendering the lives of Filipino gay men in New York. Martin F. Manalansan IV breaks through mainstream ignorance and stereotyping to achieve a rich portrait of the rituals, attitudes, language, and travails of his immigrant subjects and by extension, of queer immigrant experience in general.”—Esther Newton, author of Margaret Mead Made Me Gay: Personal Essays, Public Ideas
“A lively ethnography that brilliantly reveals how Filipino gay immigrants manipulate symbols and meanings in order to survive and even flourish within the racial, ethnic, class, and gendered spaces of America and a globalizing world. Global Divas is a must-read for all those interested in the intersections of race, class, gender, sexual orientation, and immigration status.”—Yen Le Espiritu, author of Home Bound: Filipino American Lives across Cultures, Communities, and Countries
An ethnography of Filipino gay men in New York that explores their sexual and national identities.
About the Author
Martin F. Manalansan IV is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is the editor of Cultural Compass: Ethnographic Explorations of Asian America and coeditor of Queer Globalizations: Citizenship and the Afterlife of Colonialism.