Trans*: A Quick and Quirky Account of Gender Variability

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In the last decade, public discussions of transgender issues have increased exponentially. However, with this increased visibility has come not just power, but regulation, both in favour of and against trans people. What was once regarded as an unusual or even unfortunate disorder has become an accepted articulation of gendered embodiment as well as a new site for political activism and political recognition. What happened in the last few decades to prompt such an extensive rethinking of our understanding of gendered embodiment? How did a stigmatised identity become so central to U.S. and European articulations of self? And how have people responded to the new definitions and understanding of sex and the gendered body?

In Trans*, Jack Halberstam explores these recent shifts in the meaning of the gendered body and representation, and explores the possibilities of a nongendered, gender-optional, or gender-queer future.

"A supremely lucid explication of highly complex and controversial ideas, cultural artifacts, and histories that never dumbs down nor gets lost in the weeds. I particularly appreciate its ranginess, perspective, sense of humor, autobiographical anecdotes, and critical dedication to ‘putting pressure on all modes of gendered embodiment.”—Maggie Nelson, author of The Argonauts

"Just when you think you’ve reached the climax of your theorygasm, dear Jack opens his heart and tells all—and in so doing he reveals the naked, beautiful soul of trans*.”—Kate Bornstein, author of Gender Outlaw.

Jack Halberstam is Professor of English and Gender Studies at Columbia University.