A Wisconsin native, Valerie Murrenus Pilmaier attended UW Oshkosh as an undergrad and then completed her MA and Phd in British Literature from Marquette University. She teaches courses in composition, literature, Women's and Gender Studies, and the Humanities. She is an Associate Professor for English and Women's and Gender Studies, currently serves the institution as the Assessment Coordinator, and is Co-Chair of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies department.
In this ground-breaking essay "'Quare" Studies, Or "(Almost Everything I Know About Queer Studies I Learned From My Grandmother," E. Patrick Johnson addresses the reality of the intersectionality and positionality that is often ignored in Queer Studies. So much emphasis has been placed on majority (read white) lesbians and gay men that the subjective experiences of BIPOC members of the LGBQTIA+ community have often been dismissed, ignored, or simply silenced. As such, Johnson reminds us that even within a marginalized group, further marginalization occurs. In this piece, Johnson discusses performativity, identity politics, and the need to listen to the lived experiences of all voices.
As minorities within a minority community, the narratives of BIPOC LGBQTIA+ folx have often ignored or drowned out in the media, in academia, and often, sadly, in basic visibility by their majority LGBQTIA+ peers. However, this ever-increasing and thriving demographic of the LGBQTIA+ community deserves a front-row seat at the table. In this discussion, we will explore the importance of understanding the legacy of BIPOC erasure, why visibility and representation is essential and how to help create pathways for visibility moving forward. This will be an important conversation as we consider the experiences of BIPOC members of the LGBQTIA+ community on our campuses.