LGBTQ Youth of Color Video Making as Radical Curriculum: A Brother Mourning His Brother and a Theory in the Flesh


  • The “Q” of LGBTQ—lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer—is interchangeable with “questioning” and the term “queer.” These are terms which youth used interchangeably and reflected how students in this ethnography named themselves, or refused to self-designate at all.


This essay examines a video poem curriculum for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) students of color at a continuation school in Los Angeles, California. In this close reading of a video poem that draws from a larger research project of a community-based learning curriculum, I have found that for LGBTQ students of color whose lives often intersect multiple oppressions, it is in the reflexive pedagogical work of “storying the self” (Goodson, 1998) where they develop a critical consciousness through an interrogation of their own bodies as they confront HIV, survival sex, and violence. The racially queered self/body, particularly in media work, becomes a rich representational tool used to facilitate reflection and praxical thinking about the multiple, often simultaneous experiences of Latino and African American LGBTQ students. It is in this pedagogical space where the urgency and necessity of a radical politic emerges from the analysis of intersection and intermeshment in student experiences, and where a “theory in the flesh” that is derived from youth bodies may literally save your own life.