Write a personal life history that is primarily organized around your own experiences with and reflections on gender and sexuality. As a personal narrative, this paper should frame the narrative around the role of gender and sexual identity over the course of your life. Your narrative will discuss what it was like to grow up as a girl/boy/or gender non-conforming child and to what extent your gender and sexual identity has played and continues to play in your life. We’ve acknowledged that one’s life experiences differentially valued under the rubric of social forces, heteronormative gender and sexuality, race, class, immigration status, language, and able bodies. We’ve explored the lens of intersection to understand differences among ourselves. Use the intersectional analysis to identify social inequalities rooted in how we understand norms of “gender, sexuality” but also “all normative categories.” Articulate, despite all odds, how you make values of your own life experiences. It is highly recommended that you cite class materials (<link is hidden> class readings, visual materials, and class lectures).
Growing up, in what ways were your life different from others on major social axis, primarily of gender and sexuality but inevitably of race, social class, immigration, and language? In your family life? in your schools? And workplaces? Think about the moments and incidents by which you learned and relearned binary gendered expectations, the roles that are attached to them, and heterosexual assumptions. Please elaborate and provide examples. What kinds of efforts have you exerted to produce and follow such norms in your everyday activity? In what ways do norms around gender and sexuality organize your life experiences, opportunities or your own expectations and visions? Discuss the unearned privileges that you entertain as you follow a dominant set of beliefs about gender and sexuality. Identify concrete areas or actions that you still try to be yourself in defiance of the normative values. Discuss your own thoughts of “life values” and “valuable lives,” with which you can remodel your attitudes and behaviors in order to bring forward a more inclusive and just society.
The discussion of gender and sexuality should be at the center of your reflection paper. However, other social categories such as race, ethnicity, and/or immigration, class, sexuality, etc. are important variables that intersect with gender and sexuality and can be interspersed in the narrative.