In my thesis, I argue that the apparel considered standard and “right” in American professional arenas disproportionately impacts working-class queer people of color (QPoC). I will argue that this is done most apathetically by overlooking the ways QPoC bodies, choices, and histories are demeaned through various limitations forced upon them by Eurocentric colonization. Secondly, I argue that QPoC are framed as outsiders in the workplace when Eurocentric assumptions of gender normativity are used, because a Eurocentric worldview postures the colonized in relation to their colonizers and reinforces the myth that the colonized fall outside of morality and competency through a series of fallacious biased polarity. The Eurocentric expectations for gender and its normative performance are utilized to posture European colonial legacies as dignified, while posturing colonized people of color(PoC) as undignified. Thirdly, I will argue that when workplaces incorporate colonial performance into professional work environments, QPoC are displaced for engaging in visible performances of their identities; this displacement is almost always in favor to those most closely associated to the identity of a white cisgender heterosexual male, whose attributes of legacy are considered better and more “normal”. Lastly the term “professional” becomes assumed as non-discriminatory term, though it remains utilized against QPoC through a definition of “normal, “that is primarily possible through leveraging resources and discourse obtained in colonial conquest to propel narratives that implicitly give white supremacy legitimacy, while creating divides in QPoC communal discourses surrounding conversations of how identity politics and sartorial aesthetics should be addressed for QPoC employment equality. To support these claims I will be employing the ideas of scholars prominent in the fields of critical white studies and feminist gender studies. These scholars that support my claims are: Dr. Margret Thornton, Dr. Hilary Thurston and Steve Martinot


Baugartner, Kabria


Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies


Arts and Humanities | Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies | Other Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies


Queer, Professional, Professionalism, Aesthetics, Sartorialism, Colonialism, Race, Ethnicity

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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