Research/Advocacy/Community: Reflections on Asian American trauma, heteropatriarchal betrayal, and trans/gender-variant health disparities research

S. J. Hwahng


This article first examines the author’s positionality with reference to the historical and inter-generational transmission of Asian trauma, the contemporary plight of North Koreans, and the betrayal of anatomically-female individuals (including those who are sexual minority/gender-variant) within Asian heteropatriarchal systems. An analysis of the relevance of empirical research on low-income trans/gender-variant people of color is then discussed, along with an examination of HIV and health disparities in relation to the socio-economic positioning of low-income trans/gender-variant people of color and sexual minority women, and how social contexts often gives rise to gender identity, including transmasculine identities. What next follows is an appeal to feminist and queer/trans studies to truly integrate those located on the lowest socio-economic echelons. The final section interrogates concepts of health, well-being, and happiness and how an incorporation of the most highly disenfranchised/marginalized communities and populations challenges us to consider more expansive visions of social transformation.


Asia; trauma; women; transgender; health disparities

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