Kenji Yoshino: Who wants to be a stereotype?

When discussing what he calls “covering” (the pressure to assimilate into the privileged “default” ways of acting, thinking, etc), the Harvard law professor and queer theorist Kenji Yoshino makes this observation:

Who wants to be a stereotype? Who wants to live in a box? But, of course, right, I mean if we just live our lives inverting stereotypes about our group, we’re just as controlled by those stereotypes as a photograph is controlled by its negative. Right? If we just reverse every single term of the stereotype then we’re just as controlled by the stereotype.

Hear the entire lecture over at

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