Trans Subterfuge: Toward an Antinational History of the Philippines
This talk will examine the 2014-2016 trial of Joseph Pemberton, a U.S. serviceman who murdered trans Filipina sex worker, Jennifer Laude, at Subic Bay Freeport. In the nationalist fervor surrounding Laude’s death, U.S. and Philippine parties alike aligned Laude’s disclosure as a person “born male,” with a repeated insistence on the Philippine’s “origin” as a U.S. colony. Novelists like Gina Apostol, however, reject this connection by positing histories of gender nonconformity against narratives of Philippine transition from colony to nation. These reimagined histories exploit racist expectations of primitivity for undercover rebellion and demonstrate that refusals of “transition” offer new, antinational methods of resistance to violence in the present.