Melanie's Reviews > Transgender History

Transgender History by Susan Stryker
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's review
Jan 01, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: non-fiction, queer, history
Read from September 11, 2011 to January 01, 2012 — I own a copy , read count: 1

First book finished in 2012! (Granted, I started it in September 2011.)

Easy to read--my first historical overview of the trans movement as situated in the context of LGB and queer activism. I also thought it had a nice balance of MTF and FTM perspectives.

I thought the chapter "The Difficult Decades" was excellent and informative. And "Current Wave" caught me up. At least to 2008.

"As significant as participation in queer and LGBT politics has been for the transgender movement since the early 1990s, events of the early twenty-first century demonstrate how vital it is for transgender activism to think beyond the comparatively narrow scope of sexuality and gender identity politics...Depending on variables such as where they happened to be born or what levels of healthcare they can afford, some transgender people find it impossible to obtain tightly controlled identity documents (such as passports)that accurately reflect their current name or gender appearance--which makes travel impossible in some circumstances and risky or dangerous in others. The restrictions on movement in the post-9/11 United States give transgender people more in common with immigrants, refugees, and undocumented workers than they might have with the gay and lesbian community. Pursuing transgender justice increasingly involves joining campaigns and struggles that might seem at first to have little to do with gender identity or expression--but everything to do with how the state polices those who differ from social norms and tries to solve the bureaucratic problems that arise from attempting to administer the lives of atypical members of its population" (p. 150).

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