Beyond Authenticity: When the Truth is Impossible to Express

queer & trans identities

“One does not always stay intact.”
—Judith Butler, Undoing Gender


I’m not quite sure who I am. That’s why I write fiction. I can fade into a story and express myself through multiple voices. It’s also why I’m an academic. There’s some comfort working in a web of scholarship, made intricate with theory, forever weaving and reinforcing.

Blogging like this, however, is hard. I need to find a voice without relying on the imaginative sorcery of fiction or the theoretical cunning of academia. I need to figure out how to speak as me.

Self is my least fluent language.

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Transgender Day of Visibility—Celebrating Diversity in Trans Identities

To the transgender community there are two important international days of recognition. The first, Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) on November 20, is a day to remember and mourn the violence experienced by the transgender community. The second, the Transgender Day of Visibility (TDOV), today on March 31, is all about making the trans community more visible in society.

Transgender is a huge umbrella term to a lot of different people. For a long time, I considered transgender (trans) and non-binary (enby) as two very different identities. Now, however, my opinions on that have been changing. There is more diversity to trans identities than I used to think.

The following thoughts are my experience, and don’t represent the opinion of every member of the trans community, of course.

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Trans voices in mainstream publishing—give us bread, but give us roses

We are facing serious upheaval and turbulent political times, and yet we can’t forget art. We can’t give up novels, poetry, paintings, music, and media, even in the most challenging of eras. 

During the early years of the labor movements in the United States, circa 1911, suffragist Rose Schneiderman wrote:

“What the woman who labors wants is the right to live, not simply exist—the right to life as the rich woman has the right to life, and the sun and music and art. You have nothing that the humblest worker has not a right to have also. The worker must have bread, but she must have roses, too.

It became a slogan—Bread and Roses—that still applies today. In today’s context, our bread is essential gains like civil rights protections, housing and social support programs, trans-supportive health care, living wages, etc; while our roses are books, television, movies, music, and art. Specifically, art created by trans people.

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