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CompañerosLatino Activists in the Face of AIDS$
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Jesus Ramirez-Valles

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780252036446

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252036446.001.0001

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Gender Deviants

Gender Deviants

(p.37) Chapter Two Gender Deviants

Jesus Ramirez-Valles

University of Illinois Press

This chapter explores compañeros' experiences of stigmatization related to their nonconforming gender behavior. Collectively, the life stories show that childhood is the period in which most stigmatization is experienced—and perhaps causes the most lasting consequences. At this time in life, family and school are the most salient sources of stigma, as they are the main socializing agents. Some of these compañeros internalized such stigma, but most of them have been able to overcome the internalization in the course of their lives. Yet, they speak of depression, failed suicide attempts, and dislocation as consequences of the stigma they endured. The experienced stigma and its consequences are particularly severe for those activists who identify as drag queens, transexual, or transgender. Since they were children, their actions were perceived by others as flagrant transgressions of gender norms.

Keywords:   stigmatization, nonconforming gender behavior, drag queens, transexual, transgender, gender norms

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