Im-migrant

I will be defining a word that can slightly change its definition by adding two letters in front of it.
It is interesting how there are several different synonyms for the term im-migrant? There’s refugee, traveler, wanderer, drifter, incomer, emigrant, mover, settler etc. It is fascinating how we never stop and think about what these words can mean and how easily they can be interchanged. According to our history books immigration has always been a fundamental part of American history because im-migrants have been coming to the United States (U.S) ever since it was discovered, since the Spanish conquest in 1769 (Sears 385). That is how we know that most “Americans” were not born here, most immigrated and migrated towards the United States; therefor our nation is created by im-migrants.

I would like to define the term migrant; this definition comes from Merriam-Webster:

  • One that moves from one region to another by chance, instinct, or plan.
  • An itinerant worker who travels from one area to another in search of work.

Now for the term immigrant; Merriam- Webster:

  • A person who comes to live permanently in a foreign country.

The connections that we can make from the readings of Kale Bantigue Fajardo in Translating Filipino and Filipino american Tomboy Masculinities through Global Migration and seafaring and Clare Sears in All that Glitters; is creating a theory of immigration that differentiates between the Push and Pull factors. When I use the term Push factor, I am primarily referring to the motive for which the individual is emigrating from their country of origin. Sears, states that many men immigrated towards the port of San Francisco during the Gold Rush for mining. In Fajardo’s article she states that they ‘migrated to work’ (403), making a large amount of money (404). We can understand that in both cases of im-migration it was a form of economic movement, giving a better value of the new country or place than in their native country. When I use the term Pull factor I am referring to the pull of the availability of jobs that is created and the pull away from their native home.

The term im-migration relates to transgender because in the articles written by Fajardo and Sears correlates on how the individual is being represented and/or is representing one’s self in the place they had migrated and immigrated too. In Sears All that Glitters, the article explores the multilayered relationship between the cross-gender phenomena and the migration politics of the gold rush in California. Due to the amount of young men migrating towards the ports of San Francisco, overnight they had transformed it into a city. In the year of 1849 there was only 2% of woman and by the year 1859 it had raised to 15%. Due to the lack of women in the city this created a gender imbalanced (385). Generating a new form of ‘ladies’ “several men became women for the night, wearing a sackcloth patch to indicate their new gender” (387). This gender of imbalanced opened a window for men to dress like woman in full form, now “female-bodied men were so common” (389) throughout the gold rush in California. Allowing a transformation of transgendered men to appear and be seen.

The article by Kale Bantigue Fajardo Translating Filipino and Filipino American Tomboy Masculinities through Global Migration and seafaring, is different than the article by Sears, but it relates to transgender because Fajardo writes about global migration trough transportation and how it has been feminized. Allowing a safe place for these tomboys to be who they want to be in a safe environment. Trough the article Fajardo, defines several terms for the Filipino seamen how they are “largely heterosexual, geographically and sexually mobile, and heroically nationalistic, while simultaneously being family oriented and usually “macho” (405). The migrants working in these ships are a close family creating a new way of living. Each one supporting each other throughout there travels, having a safe place to be who they are.

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