Subliminal Spaces: Queer Pinay Visibility in Southern California

Although there is significant amount of literature on Asian Americans, gender, sexuality, and the media few studies have examined how queer Filipino women express themselves in film. To advance the literature, the present study focuses on narratives that queer Pinays created through documentary film. I examined the messages, semantics, and aesthetics in creating the documentary and the social implications in reflecting the lives of queer Pinays through utang na loob, a system of values and behaviors in Filipino kinship. Participants highlight their involvement in the arts, music, athletics, and social justice. They avoided from commenting on and filming family, religion, and employment. They used film to discuss how to navigate queer Pinay femininity and queer Pinay masculinity. Participants demonstrated difficulty communicating regional nuances from the diverse communities represented in the monolith Philippine nation and its global implications on queer Pinays in the US. The results demonstrate a need to consider how gender roles and labor shape the lives of queer Pinays living in Southern California.