COVERING KENJI YOSHINO PDF

When I began teaching at Yale Law School in , a friend spoke to me frankly. To be a "homosexual professional" was to be a professor of constitutional law who "happened" to be gay. To be a "professional homosexual" was to be a gay professor who made gay rights his work. Others echoed the sentiment in less elegant formulations. Be gay, my world seemed to say. Be openly gay, if you want.

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As Yoshino noted in his presentation in Kresge G1, he draws both on his personal experience as a gay Asian American and expands upon that experience to look at the common ways many individuals downplay their differences to become more mainstream. Appearance — steering clear of grooming, mannerisms, or attire that could be identified with their group. For example, an African American woman might choose to straighten her hair to downplay her race. Affiliation — avoiding behaviors that might be identified with their group.

For example, a woman who has small children may downplay that she is a mother and take on night or weekend work to show that she is committed to her job.

Advocacy — avoiding activities such as demonstrating or speaking out that could be seen as advocating for their group. Association — avoiding spending too much time with individuals who are also members of their group. Yoshino noted that in the research he conducted in conjunction with Deloitte, more than 3, employees of companies across 10 different industries were surveyed.

Skip to content News. News expand child menu. Search for:. Protests against police brutality across the U. Large protests in cities across the U.

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Covering: The Hidden Assault on Our Civil Rights

As Yoshino noted in his presentation in Kresge G1, he draws both on his personal experience as a gay Asian American and expands upon that experience to look at the common ways many individuals downplay their differences to become more mainstream. Appearance — steering clear of grooming, mannerisms, or attire that could be identified with their group. For example, an African American woman might choose to straighten her hair to downplay her race. Affiliation — avoiding behaviors that might be identified with their group.

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‘Covering’ to fit in and get ahead

Against that conventional understanding, Kenji Yoshino argues that the demand to cover can pose a hidden threat to our civil rights. Though we have come to some consensus against penalizing people for differences based on race, sex, sexual orientation, religion, and disability, we still routinely deny equal treatment to people who refuse to downplay differences along these lines. Gays are asked not to engage in public displays of same-sex affection. The devout are instructed to minimize expressions of faith, and individuals with disabilities are urged to conceal the paraphernalia that permit them to function. In a wide-ranging analysis, Yoshino demonstrates that American civil rights law has generally ignored the threat posed by these covering demands. With passion and rigor, he shows that the work of civil rights will not be complete until it attends to the harms of coerced conformity.

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