(Re)Affirming EcoCitizenship: Queer Ecological Reading of Philippine and Ugandan Trans Docu-Narratives
Keywords:queer ecology, trans ecology, ecological citizenship, queer environmentalism, trans docu-narrative, gender-discourse analysis
The exclusion of the trans community from the mainstream discourse has resulted in the members’ ongoing battle for their right to eco-citizenship – an assertion of equal opportunities in the natural-social space. Through the framework of queer ecology and by means of gender-discourse analysis, this paper examines two docu-narratives – Pinoy Transkings (2015), an advocacy documentary film directed by Dean Airo Salvador E. Dancel, and The Pearl of Africa (2016), a webseries documentary film written and directed by Jonny von Wallström – centering on the trans lived realities against the complex socio-religio-political backdrop
of two countries, the Philippines and Uganda, respectively. The docunarratives illustrate the dislocation/displacement of trans individuals from the ecological-social space – a place where they imagine coexisting equally with the hetero-society – caused by gaps in health care services, absence of comprehensive anti-discrimination policies, and dominant religious influence. But the way trans individuals rose to the challenges thrown at them as narrated in the texts implies that they have bravely navigated the social and structural contours of the restricting heteroecologies, and that they have remained steadfast in (re)affirming their eco-citizenship by closely examining their current corporeal location, acknowledging the presence of their life partners, and embarking on inward/outward journey leading to self-fulfillment.