sprinkle: an undergraduate journal of feminist and queer studies


Disney’s Mulan is a text easily celebrated for its nonwhite and queerable cast of characters. In this paper, I meditate on the ways that this Western interpretation of the myth can be used to explore the intersection between queer gender and Asian-American identity. This paper first looks at the origins of the Mulan myth and its original values of collective goals and filial piety, and then it considers how the Disney movie makes its characters embody “foreign” Western ideas that expose the inherent queerness of Asian-American masculinity. I also take a personal approach, drawing both from theorists and from my experiences as a trans Chinese American to read Mulan’s ability to pass as a function of both colonized storytelling and an accidental representation of how the emasculation of Asian-American masculinity can be taken advantage of by the gender nonconforming.

Publication Date