For Today I Am a Boy

Intersectional Identities in For Today I Am a Boy College

In the novel For Today I Am A Boy, Kim Fu tells the story of a young Chinese-Canadian named Peter Huang, who throughout the novel grapples with the struggles of gender, race, and class. Peter’s experiences are particularly complex, namely because of the cultural weight of being the only male child in a Chinese family; however, Peter feels that he is a girl. Kim Fu presents Peter’s queerness through a racialized lens in order to represent the inherent complications of being doubly-marginalized in a society that cannot separate race or gender from a person’s identity. Fu uses Peter’s relationships with white characters to represent society’s inherently racialized view of queerness and its implications on trans* visibility and how trans* people express their gender; in this paper, I will focus on Peter’s relationships with Margie, John, and Mrs. Becker.

Peter just wants to be seen; Margie gives Peter the visibility as a feminine person that he wants to be seen as, however Margie can only see Peter this way through her racialized view of him. Margie has a racialized fetish, and she exoticizes Peter. When they first meet, Margie calls Peter “pretty,” which made him “felt like she had said a word that only [he] knew, that [he] had...

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