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Negotiating Multiple Identities In A Queer Vietnamese Support Group

My participant-observation with 0-M6i, a support group for Vietnamese lesbians, bisexual women and female-to-male transgenders, and interviews with members, focusing on how different identity issues are negotiated, suggest that despite 0-M6i's claim of supporting its members' multiple marginalized identities, group processes in everyday pragmatic interactions construct a hierarchy that centers and normalizes experiences of bilingual Vietnamese lesbians. This renders the marginalization of bisexual women, transgender men, and Vietnamese/English monolingual members. Using the concept of "identity work" to examine the intersection of race/ethnicity, class, and gender/sexuality as everyday (counter)hegemonic processes, I discuss how organizational structure, discourse resources, and personal politics orient and mold members' talk and interactions leading to normalization and/or marginalization of certain groups' experiences.

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