Tabitha Payne

Tabitha Payne
2019-2020 UNDERGRADUATE FELLOW

Biography

Tabitha Payne, ’20, was born and raised in Cambodia to Filipino and American parents. At Brown, she concentrates in Development Studies, with a regional focus on Southeast Asia. Her range of academic interests lie at the crossroads of gender, race, sexuality, modern Southeast Asian history, Black critical thought, English literature, prison/abolition studies, and theology. Her honors thesis, tentatively titled, “Intergenerationality in the Cambodian Queer Community,” hopes to study how the differing life experiences, attitudes, and temporalities of LGBTQI Cambodian elders and youth were shaped and reveal the tumultuous regime changes and rapid development the country has undergone in the last half-century. Working with local grassroots activists at CamASEAN Youth’s Future, her participatory action ethnographic research project employs interviews with LGBTQI adults of all ages—including those who were out during the Khmer Rouge genocide—as well as community dialogues to foster intergenerational relationship-building and knowledge-sharing.