chapter  12
17 Pages

At the Risk of ‘Feeling Brown’ in Gay YA

Machismo, Mariposas, and the Drag of Identity
ByJon M. Wargo

Scholars of adolescent literature have recently seen a proliferation of all things queer. From volumes focusing on the multiplicity of genders and sexualities in contemporary children's and young adult literature, to the queering of classic texts in order to shed light on newer lines of inquiry, critics are pursuing risky reads to conceptualize the textual constructions of contemporary youth sexuality. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender subjectivities have long resided in the periphery of dominant discourses of heteronormativity and sexual alterity. Racial performativity is a doing of race. Inspired by Butlerian notions of performativity and the post-disciplinarian field of performance studies, racial performativity examines race as an affective category and stylized act of belonging, coherence, and divergence present in the world. Impressed upon as structures of feeling, the affective position and architecture of feeling brown has its own blueprint. Whether embodied or metaphorically employed, the architecture of ethnicity and affective register of feeling brown weighs upon Latino characters.