Beyond Norms and Realities

Reading Queer in Everything Everywhere All at Once


  • Thomas Tri University of Calgary



Queer theory, Asian American Representation, Model Minority Myth


This paper examines the film Everything Everywhere All at Once, portraying a Chinese-American family navigating complex familial dynamics. The film, featuring stellar performances by Ke Huy Quan, Michelle Yeoh, and Jamie Lee Curtis, garnered Oscars and marked a historic win for Asian women in the Best Actress category. Beyond its sci-fi front, the movie transcends genre boundaries, contributing significantly to new queer cinema. This paper argues that the film disrupts essentialist notions of race, sexuality, and gender by exploring diverse themes. Drawing from queer theory, this paper analyzes the film’s problematization of gender norms and Asian American stereotypes, as well as the encouragement of critical spectatorship in viewers. The analysis identifies the film’s deliberate use of queer codes, inviting viewers to think beyond conventions. The film confuses normative thinking, as demonstrated through Ke Huy Quan’s character, Waymond, who blurred assignments of masculinity and femininity. Finally, the analysis extends this critique to Asian American representation, interrogating stereotypes associated with the model minority myth. Through the film’s well-crafted storytelling and excellent performances by actors, this paper’s analysis demonstrates how a queer reading can encourage thinking beyond ‘normal.’


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How to Cite

Tri, T. (2024). Beyond Norms and Realities: Reading Queer in Everything Everywhere All at Once. The Motley Undergraduate Journal, 2(1).



Research and Analytical Articles