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Trans Liberation: Beyond Pink or Blue

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Those who have heard Leslie Feinberg speak in person know how powerful and inspiring s/he can be. In Trans Liberation, Feinberg has gathered a collection of hir speeches on trans liberation and its essential connection to the liberation of all people. This wonderfully immediate, impassioned, and stirring book is for anyone who cares about civil rights and creating a just and equitable society.

160 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 1998

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About the author

Leslie Feinberg

16 books562 followers
Leslie Feinberg was a transgender activist, speaker, and author. Feinberg was a high ranking member of the Workers World Party and a managing editor of Workers World newspaper.

Feinberg's writings on LGBT history, "Lavender & Red," frequently appeared in the Workers World newspaper. Feinberg's partner was the prominent lesbian poet-activist Minnie Bruce Pratt. Feinberg was also involved in Camp Trans and was awarded an honorary doctorate from Starr King School for the Ministry for transgender and social justice work.

Feinberg's novel Stone Butch Blues, which won the Stonewall Book Award, is a novel based around Jess Goldberg, a transgendered individual growing up in an unaccepting setting. Despite popular belief, the fictional work is not autobiographical. This book is frequently taught at colleges and universities and is widely considered a groundbreaking work about gender.

Leslie Feinberg was Jewish, and was born female. Feinberg preferred the gender-neutral pronouns "hir" and "ze". Feinberg wrote: "I have shaped myself surgically and hormonally twice in my life, and I reserve the right to do it again."

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 87 reviews
Profile Image for Aitziber.
71 reviews25 followers
February 17, 2014
This is a world where jokes about men getting confused at women's many emotions, and women being unable to enjoy a good round of guns and sports, are accepted and a good way to gain Facebook Likes. Feinberg considers anyone who deviates from these strict concepts of male and female, an ally in the trans liberation movement. To that effect, ze gave speeches in 1997 to rally troops to the cause.

Heterosexual cross-dressers, drag queens, drag kings, Queer Studies college students, Pride organizers, are all given a voice in this book.

There was much in this book that spoke to me. There were times where I felt like the confusing mess of words I've tried to organize into a coherent self-definition, was finally articulated. I felt that I didn't have to justify my identity anymore, to myself or others. It was soothing to read this book and be completely certain that the author would accept me as a comrade.

The revolution that Feinberg exhorts the reader to join and/or generate, finally did not materialize. No one would've guessed during the Clinton administration just what was to come in 2001. The conservative backlash against the "politically correct" warriors was strengthened by the fear caused by the attacks. Bit by bit, the LGBT community has reclaimed the territory that was lost during the early 00s. The same-sex marriage fight has been won in many states. And yet, the trans revolution to which Feinberg alludes in Trans Liberation, has fallen to the wayside.
Profile Image for Bek MoonyReadsByStarlight.
236 reviews53 followers
June 11, 2020
Trans Liberation by Leslie Feinberg highlights trans beauty, trans joy, trans struggle, trans resilience, and solidarity. It was so empowering to read, as a non-binary person. It was comforting and empowering to hear hir talk about solidarity in a way that was so much more comprehensive than I would have expected even from the late 1990’s. Ze discuss the importance of solidarity on issues of gender, sexuality, race, disability, and class. Ze also has several trans people of color featured in some of the portraits throughout the book.

Of course the language around gender is different from what we use today and that was an experience all on its own. The beautiful chaos of melding masculine and feminine and neutral terms, older and newer (for the time) is incredible. There is so much history and character in all of those labels. This was just the beginning of the legacy that is continued by more discussion of experiences that we get online. There is so much joy and power in the diversity of language that is constantly being created.
Profile Image for Sarah.
86 reviews
February 12, 2010
A few of my favorite quotes:

"While there is as yet no language for who I have become, I articulate my gender -- silent to the ear, but thunderous to the eye."

"I have seen a substantial current of women across the United States - straight, lesbian, and bisexual - welcome discovering more about trans liberation. They are thrilled at the way our movement is helping revitalize women's liberation by revisiting discussions about what it means to be a woman, and how the reduction of 'woman' to one common experience is transphobic, as well as insensitive to racism, poverty, disabilities, and other forms of multiple oppression."

"To claim one group of downtrodden people is oppressing another by their self-identification is to swing your guns away from those who really do oppress us, and to aim them at those who are already under seige."

"Genitalia, sexual desire, gender expression, identification with one sex or another -- one does not determine all the others."

"We all need to help in creating new words and concepts that say who we are, not who we aren't."

"As we fight for each other's rights, we strengthen our own."
Profile Image for Pazuzu.
74 reviews31 followers
December 29, 2017
I am surprised to see so many reviewers thought the language in the book was like a manifesto or that it sounded more like speeches. In my opinion, this book was beyond excellent. These are collected speeches (mostly), it will be written in a tone of addressing and mobilizing people and that is beautiful. I don't know if the rarity of trans-centered writing made people want everything from it, maybe some people expected more academic theorizing, I don't know. But I thought it was perfect, intersectional, sharp, accessible, and thought-provoking. It is also part of the documentation of grassroot movement of Stonewall, the documentation of the collaboration of the queer movement with the civil rights movement, and the documentation of the organic relations between class and queer activism. It is also, for me, a dignifying tribute to how much more expensive to work for social change with an empty pocket. When I read good, large books, I'm usually fascinated by how much time and effort have been dedicated to building the content. Knowing that Feinberg wrote so little, but while struggling with economic, as well as gendered, hardship makes me feel warm. Finally, a few of the speeches address the discourse of cis-queers regarding trans individuals. All of these points were for me priceless, I want to keep this book and reread it and quote it in so many ways... Again I have no idea why anyone would not like it.
Profile Image for Ricky.
267 reviews9 followers
January 13, 2017
It's sad how many of the core issues Feinberg addresses are still key battlegrounds today, especially as we prepare for the trump presidency. Healthcare, trans* people's rights to use a bathroom, mainstream gay and lesbian organizing leaving trans* demands in the dust :(
Profile Image for Moon.
8 reviews1 follower
August 31, 2022
“gender is the poetry each of us makes out of the language we are taught.” i love you leslie i wish you lived forever <\3
Profile Image for Adakhc.
127 reviews4 followers
April 1, 2018
I've strongly admired Les Feinberg for almost as long as i've been aware of my queer identity (12 years). It was a delight to find this book on a shelf and to have an evening alone to read it slowly and thoroughly, after wanting to read this for years.

This book brings together Feinberg's speeches writing during the year of 1997, after zie barely survived an illness worsened by the barriers of transphobia and poverty. The book also includes speeches / writing by many trans leaders young, old, Black, Latin@, Apache, AFAB, AMAB, intersex etc etc (including Sylvia Rivera). Feinberg's Marxist / socialist lens and undying commitment to solidarity is present throughout.

Example of Feinberg's writing style:
"(Gender is) one of two languages that we learn by rote from early age. To me, gender is the poetry each of us makes out of the language we are taught. When i walk through the anthology of the world, I see individuals express their gender in exquisitely complex and ever-changing ways, despite the laws of pentameter" (p.10)
Profile Image for Em Lugnet.
11 reviews
November 23, 2022
Leslie Feinberg is my guiding light, mentor and soulful energy through this dark times 🧡
Profile Image for Jenia.
411 reviews99 followers
January 16, 2021
3.5 stars. I think this is a good intro book for people who've not thought about gender much before, but I guess I wanted a bit ... more? I think I agree with most of ze says anyway, and didn't really learn anything new, and the stuff that I wasn't sure about, I didn't get a deeper/different understanding of. It's definitely an interesting book historically - seeing where trans activism (and queer activism more generally) was at in the 90s.
Profile Image for Basma.
658 reviews2 followers
June 2, 2019
This was excellent. For just 147 pages Leslie Feinberg managed to discuss so much and be as inclusive as possible.

This book was published in 1999 and it’s 2019 now and activists and grassroots are still calling out for the same rights, demanding respect and discussing similar issues that Leslie Feinberg called out for then and mentioned in this book.

Sometimes I’m wary picking up books written years ago because I don’t want the bulk of my reading to be about the history and not the present (I recognize both are equally important) but this book doesn’t feel like history. It feels very of the moment. It contains essays of speeches given throughout America in different events and it’s great.
Profile Image for Adam.
996 reviews196 followers
July 31, 2014
Since it was the first book on trans politics I was ever exposed to, I got the impression this book was something of "the manifesto," the standard comprehensive intro to the topic. It kind of is that, but the speech-collection format is something I never enjoy, and it's certainly not a good way to make a book. The ideas are repetitive and shallow for book content, since Les has to cover the same ground for each audience and doesn't have the time to go to deep into any one thing.

So Les makes a couple really great, simple points, but that's really all. First, that we should respect everyone's unique gender expression, and that there are tons of those outside the man/woman binary in a zillion ways, including transsexuals and transgender people. Second, that the struggles of trans people are deeply intersectional with the struggles of all other oppressed groups (though distinct from each other - it's not the same as misogyny). Third, that transsexuals don't reinforce binary gender norms by their very existence any more than anyone else does by performing any other gender norms. It's not the people, and their expression of unique gender, that's the problem; it's the policing of deviations from those norms with violent force and systematic discrimination.

Overall, it's a nice short and layperson oriented book that was a very welcome reprieve from intricate bullshit knots of debate in feminist theory like this thing I just read: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/fem... (which is great but just really overwhelming and complex). Feinberg's ideas seem almost naively simple and genuine at points - much more on the "why don't we all just respect each other and get along" end of the scale.

Couple nice quotes I wanted to save, with some interpretive notes-to-self:

"To me, branding individual self-expression as simply feminine or masculine is like asking poets: Do you write in English or Spanish? The question leaves out the possibilities that the poetry is woven in Cantonese or Ladino, Swahili or Arabic. The question deals only with the system of language that the poet has been taught. It ignores the words each writer hauls up, hand over hand, from a common well. The music words make when finding themselves next to each other for the first time. The silences echoing in the space between ideas. The powerful winds of passion and belief that move the poet to write."

"Many in the [second wave feminist] movement who yearned not only for women's liberation, but also for human liberation, embarked on a bold social experiment. They hoped that freeing individuals from femininity and masculinity would help people be viewed on a more equal basis that highlighted each person's qualities and strengths. They hoped that androgyny would replace masculinity and femininity and help do away with gendered expression altogether.

Twenty years after that social experiment, we have the luxury of hindsight. The way in which individuals express themselves is a very important part of who they are. It is not possible to force all people to live outside of femininity and masculinity. Only androgynous people live comfortably in that gender space. There's no social compulsion powerful enough to force anyone else to dwell there. Trans people are an example of the futility of this strategy. Mockery and beatings and unemployment and hunger and threats of rape and institutionalization have not forced us as trans people to conform to narrow norms.

Why would we want to ask anyone to give up their own hard-fought-for place on the gender spectrum? There are no rights or wrongs in the ways people express their own gender style. No one's lipstick or flattop is hurting us. No one's gender expression is any more "liberated" than anyone else's."
- just as femininized women aren't responsible for patriarchal norms because they enact them, so too are trans people not responsible for them. Such norms are caused by violent policing and disrespect for the choices of others, not by what anyone, of any gender expression, chooses to do or not do.

"Holding transsexual men and women responsible for the man-woman binary is tantamount to accusing anyone who uses a public toilet with a gendered stick figure on the door of upholding patriarchal paternity and inheritance."

"Transgender people are not dismantling the categories of man and woman. We are opening up a world of possibilities in addition."
- and, when opening up that world is paired integrally with combating oppression based on gender expression, it is by definition destroying the oppressive system of binary gender known as patriarchy.
Profile Image for Joey Mopsink.
40 reviews
September 29, 2020
It’s not very often a book on transness resonates so deeply with me. The quote “I live proudly in a body of my own design. I defend my right to be complex,” grabbed me and left me feeling understood and empowered.

Also hell yes re: the Marxist lens Feinberg gives to trans liberation. We love 2 see it.
Profile Image for Maggie Cox.
95 reviews58 followers
February 19, 2021
This book is incredible. I wish I had read this book years ago, but I am thankful to have found it now. It is absolutely going on the Required Reading list, and I would recommend it to everyone working in progressive circles, especially white cisgender people.

When I looked up books about trans liberation, this book kept appearing, and now I know why. It is heartbreaking and very frustrating to me that we don't seem to learn much of value in schools but I am very thankful to be able to learn from books like this. It's beautiful to me how many of these very progressive books & collections of speeches encapsulate all aspects of the movement. Leslie Feinberg and Angela Davis seem to share the same vision for a better world, and the difference is just their lived experience and therefore the lens they frame the movement in.

I thought it was really wonderful how many other authors contributed to this book.

"This movement will give you more room to breathe - to be yourself. To discover on a deeper level what it means to be your self." Page 6

"To me, gender is the poetry each of us makes out of the language we are taught. When I walk through the anthology of the world, I see individuals express their gender in exquisitely comlex and ever-changing ways, despite the laws of pentameter." Page 10

"I never describe anyone's gender expression as exaggerated. Since i don't accept negative judgements about my own gender articulation, I avoid judgements about others. People of all sexes have the right to explore femininity, masculinity - and the infinite variations between - without criticism or ridicule." Page 25

"But what a ride! Even at gunpoint, I would not choose a different path in life. My determination to remain a person who I can be proud of has made all of my views and insights and consciousness possible. It has made me see more clearly how many other lives in society are being limited through forms of discrimination and injustice. It has illuminated my relatinoship to them as an ally, and steeled my resolve to spend my life actively working for a world in which economic and social equality, and freedom of self-expression, are the birthrights of every person." Page 29

"I actually feel that on my own loom, weaving my internal weft against the warp of external pressure, I have created a tapestry far more intricate and complex." Page 33

"No matter where you place yourself on the sex and gender continua, the degradation, depisal, and unequal treatment of all who are "not male" is on obstacle to solidarity." Page 47

“None of us can ever be free while others are still in chains. That’s the truth underlying the need for solidarity. Trans liberation is inextricably linked to other movements for equality and justice.” Page 48

"But just because an individual is drawn into the vortex of a movement, it doesn't mean that person will automatically be enlightened on every aspect of other peoples' oppressions - particularly that which they do not directly experience. Each individual still needs to overcome the bigotry that has been instilled in us from an early age." Page 51

"And so if we really want that friendship and that understanding, we have to build it. All of us in this society are wounded. But we don't always know where each other's injuries are located. That means we may thoughtlessly hurt each other. Everyone who has ever been treated unjustly or been disrespected in this society is full of justified anger. I believe wed need to take care not to unleash that rage on each other." Page 55

"It's one thing for transwomen to discuss issues of socialization as an internal discussion in transsexual space. But it's a prejudiced and dangerous formulation for non-transsexuals to make. It's a fast and slippery slide from the rigidity of biological determinism to an equally narrow position of social determinism." Page 56

"All of us came into movements with rough edges." Page 57

"Everyone in this room is a leader. Each of us is needed as an organizer, as an activist in the decisive struggles that lie ahead. There's a wonderful Chinese proverb that advises "The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it."" Page 61

"The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it." Page 61

"There are many "magpies" who are drawn to latch onto the bright, shiny aspects of Native culture, who misappropriate Native culture, customs, and artifacts in the belief that they are "honoring" Native people by imitating them without understanding them. It is better for non-Native people to follow our example by looking to their own ancestors and reclaiming their own transgendered spirituality." Page 66

"White people need to reclaim their own sacred people instead of appropriating ours." Page 66

"The process of reclamation is an extraordinarily difficult one in which the seeker must come face to face with the atrocities of the past, grieve for what has been lost, and carefully sift through the destruction to recover the little that remains. This is true whether the seeker is examining Native American or Euro-American history. History is not ancient and irrelevant; history is the reason why things are the way they are now." Page 66

"The United States is the richest country in the world, we are often told. So show us the money!" Page 86

"Yes, trans liberation is shaking up old patterns of thoughts or beliefs. Good! Because most of those thoughts and beliefs that we are challenging were imposed on us from above, were rotten to the core and were backed up by bigoted laws. But we're not taking away your identity. No one's sex reassignment or fluidity of gender threatens your right to self-identity and self-expression. On the contrary, our struggle bolsters your right to your identity. My right to be me is tied with a thousand threads to your right to be you." Page 101

"We can develop multi-issue coalitions with everyone who's struggling for social equality and economic justice. When people from different walks of life find themselves together in a collective protest, later they remember who stood tall with them when times were tough. That's how genuine solidarity is forged. An injury to one is an injury to all! When we allow ourselves to be split along lines of oppression, we always lose. But when we put forward a collective list of demands together, and fight to defend each other from attacks, we frequently win." Page 105

"The revise history to parrot one message over and over again: "The way things are now is the way they've always been." The meaning is clear and demoralizing: Don't even think about fighting for change." Page 119

"Until the lions come to power, the hunters write the history." Page 119

"If you ask me, the aim should not fall a yard short of genuine social and economic liberation for everyone. How to build a movement capable of achieving that objective, however, is the crux of the matter at hand." Page 135

"The truth is, you and I are the stuff that great leaders are made of. We don't have to wait for a distinguished white man on a horse or a politician wealthy enough to win office in a multimillion dollar campaign to usher in justice and equality. The ranks of rebellions and revolutions that have shaped human history have been made up of people like you and me. That history lesson has been purposefully kept from us." Page 141

"Defining myself is hard, being myself is easy." Page 145 (Deirdre Sinnot)

"I've never wanted to change myself to conform to bigots. My goal is to change the society so that there isn't oppression." Page 145 (Deirdre Sinnot)
Profile Image for Tinea.
561 reviews253 followers
October 25, 2010
First off: read Stone Butch Blues.

Leslie Feinberg reminds me of bell hooks in that hir writing is intersectional, sharp, and so clear that you can relax even as you read challenging work. I'm not psyched on the 'collection of speeches' format of this book, but the content was excellent, short, and to the point. Feinberg's speeches are juxtaposed with short essays by a range of trans activists writing about their identities and activism. There's a lot of passion, history, and hope in this small volume. It is geared towards activists and a lot of the fire comes from Feinberg connecting different oppressions and resistance movements.

The best essay by far, and the story that frames the collection, is about Feinberg's terrible ordeal with transmisogyny in the medical industry that delayed and worsened hir treatment of a life-threatening condition. I had the fortune to meet Jacoby Ballard this year, an herbalist who practices "holistic transgender health" at the Third Root Community Health Center that he co-founded in Brooklyn. Along with his community yoga and herbal practice, Ballard offers herbal, nutrition, and education support for people transitioning genders and undergoing hormone therapy and surgery. Every year he teaches workshops on transitioning support to herb school students in New York. Feinberg's experiences made me appreciate just how valuable Ballard's work-- both the healthcare practice and the education-- is. I wish more schools in a range of medical fields would outreach to practitioner-activists like Ballard to help ensure that all medical students learn not only to treat all patients, regardless of gender, with dignity and respect, but also how to offer treatment and support that is specific to the needs of transgender people.

I also really enjoyed the discussion in a few essays about the connections between lesbian, gay, and queer sexuality in relation to trans and gender liberation, the fluidity of gender expression, and how changing gender identities impact sexuality. This book is over ten years old and the word "queer" appears only a few times in it. I want to read more recent work by Feinberg and see hir analysis of things like Bash Back, genderqueers, and contemporary LGBTQ struggles, activism, etc.
Profile Image for Jackson.
140 reviews18 followers
May 22, 2011
I read this a few years ago, and I remember it actually being my favorite of Leslie Feinberg's books.

The thing I loved about this book is that Leslie really connects the experience of having a trans body and/or a trans experience with a greater struggle of trying to live and survive in the midst of a horrible economy made up of "haves" and "have-nots"--stuff that is not unique to the trans experience.

I sometimes get frustrated that a lot of awesome books out there that discuss trans stuff do so in a way that ignores the fact that it doesn't matter if health insurance companies will pay for your hormones or surgeries if you don't have health insurance in the first place. And non-discrimination policies that are inclusive of trans folks in the workplace don't really matter if there are no jobs.

Leslie Feinberg makes those connections and talks about trans folks' struggles within the context of greater class struggles.

It's a great book for trans folks wanting to feel connected to a greater movement and non-trans folks involved in those movements who want to understand how to be more inclusive of trans folks in the work they're doing. I wished I owned a copy because I would totally loan it to people. But I got it from the library.

I also remember it being a pretty quick read. I read it in a weekend, and not one of those get-sucked-in-and-don't-eat-or-sleep book reading weekends, just a weekend when I read a few chapters here and there.

I finished the book feeling energized, connected and ready to save the world.
Profile Image for Billy.
14 reviews11 followers
June 21, 2009
This quote from the introduction We Are All Works in Progress sums up the relevance of the book:
"To me, gender is the poetry each of us makes out of the language we are taught."
This book is a wonderful read for people new to trans issues because each chapter is from a different perspective, written by a different trans identified person. The language is accepting and free of jargon. Trans liberation is ultimately the liberation of the self from society's oppressive confines, whether you consider yourself trans or not.
Profile Image for Gwen.
Author 8 books19 followers
May 30, 2011
Just as there is a sub-genre for trans memoirs at this point there is also a huge field of trans anger cloaked as activism books out there. Don't read this, we aren't all like this. Just looking at this cover is frustrating me. There are blogs done by trans teenagers that are better than this book.
Profile Image for Zane Carey.
235 reviews7 followers
July 1, 2017
one of the shortest things i have ever read, but definitely sticks in my heart
964 reviews4 followers
October 26, 2018
I'm rereading Leslie's work, which seems more timely than ever. I can't tell you how much I miss this person's voice.
Profile Image for Bethany.
46 reviews6 followers
December 3, 2020
This book contains edited versions of talks done in the early 90s. It also contains pretty heavy talk about hospitals that is really shattering. It’s truly heavy content but very necessary to learn history of our lbgtqa+ siblings. I love Leslie and you should too!
Profile Image for Sabina.
1 review
October 23, 2020
extremely powerful, loving, incisive, persuasive, invigorating speech and writing. I'm so glad I took the time to sit down and read this text and let it all wash over me
Profile Image for Adrienne.
321 reviews3 followers
August 25, 2022
I read this 17 years ago, and again this week. And I feel the same spark of hope I did the first time as I read it.
Profile Image for Kazumich.
2 reviews
January 14, 2020
It’s a good book for learning historical events and overthinking your points of view. Mainly the book is about trans*, nonbinary and gender nonconformity activism, the discussion about importance of it and what place it takes in LGBTQIA+ overall activity. But while reading this it needs to be remembered, that the book was written in 1998, so it is also good for analyzing and comparing situations in 90s and in nowadays.
Profile Image for HeavyReader.
2,247 reviews14 followers
May 1, 2008
I wrote this review of Trans Liberation: Beyond Pink or Blue for the Winter 1999/Spring 2000 issue of The MSRRT Newsletter. This was the last issue of The MSRRT Newsletter that I wrote for, possible the last issue of The MSRRT Newsletter that was ever produced.

This third book by transgender activist Leslie Feinberg is a collection of eight essays, many adapted from addresses delivered during speaking engagements in 1997. It also includes ten written self-portraits by other trans people and supporters whose viewpoints are different from the author's . In the essays, Feinberg comments on topics ranging from gender freedom tot he US health care crisis, from classism to the evils of big business, using clear and concise language which is accessible but never patronizing. Feinberg's optimism is inspirational, affirming the possibility that society will one day accept all people regardless of gender expression and other physical characteristics. This volume is an important addition to the growing body of work on transgender issues.
Profile Image for Sonja.
11 reviews
June 23, 2011
Although this volume of personal profiles and public addresses is a bit dated, it serves as a fairly good introduction to the history of the trans movement and some still-current issues. It effectively challenges the view that sex and gender are ""normally" a duality: M/F or even Straight/Gay.
A passage which has stayed with me is this, " We are told from the time that we learn to walk that the magic number is two: male/female, black/white, right/wrong, day/night, sun/moon, good/evil...the list goes on and on. People seem to casually ignore the fact that there are more than two races, an entire field has been dedicated to the gray area between right and wrong (i.e. Ethics), dawn and dusk separate night and day, an entire universe of planets, starts, wormholes and more exist and good and evil depend largely on religion and/or perspective. Yet two remains the battle cry until we get to behavior and then the magic number is one. We are told there is only one way to be one way to act, one way to feel."
Profile Image for Nathan.
30 reviews5 followers
June 16, 2013
This is another awesome book by Leslie Feinberg - in this one, ze examines the rift between transgender rights and feminism, and argues that they need each other and can benefit from each other's experience.

This book is primarily an attack on transphobia within the feminist movement, and while I can say that this seems to be decreasing in general, it's important to mention that transgender rights are often put on the back burner when compared to major social issues like gay marriage and equal pay.

Feinburg argues that trans* people have as much at stake as our more socially acceptable brothers and sisters, but we still have a long way to go!

With a combination of anecdotes and historic evidence, this book not only speaks for tras* rights, but is also an important argument against the "us vs. them" dichotomy that divides all the best-intentioned causes.
2 reviews2 followers
January 1, 2018
I am re-reading this book. I first read it at least 10 years ago when I was thinking a lot about gender theory.

I'm currently on the first chapter where she is speaking to a cross-dresser's conference.

I like the way ze draws the different varieties of T* experience together. It's easy to forget that trans experience extends further than just transwoman/transman if you are a transwoman/transman. In fact there are large numbers of people who identify as men or women but need or want to express themselves as the other gender or simply express their gender identity in ways that are outside of what is 'normal' for men and women. Obvious really, but I need to be reminded it would seem.


Profile Image for Tina..
150 reviews
January 14, 2010
My love and admiration for Leslie Feinberg are endless. This book is a collection of hir speeches from different conferences/rallies in the late 90's. The book also includes portraits written by other trans activists.

One of my favorite quotes from this book: "The people who make a difference in history are those who fight for freedom--not because they're guaranteed to succeed--but because it's the right thing to do. And that's the kind of fighters that history demands today. Not those who worship the accomplished fact. Not those who can only believe in what is visible today. But instead, people of conscience who dedicate their lives to what needs to be won, what can be won."
Profile Image for Lila.
42 reviews2 followers
August 31, 2010
I bought this book to use some direct quotes from Leslie Feinberg for a paper that I wrote in a sexuality studies course. It is simply an inspiring collection of transcriptions from speeches ze has given at a variety of conferences and forums on gender identity. Ze discusses trans issues such as feeling invisible in a society that mandates binary gender, as well as more important realities, such as the common lack of availability and access to trans-friendly health care. Feinberg incites hir audiences to continue to strive for a society where equality is guaranteed for everyone, poignantly arguing that this kind of liberation gives us all more freedom.
1,077 reviews3 followers
February 5, 2016
I read this book as a follow-up to "Trans/Portraits," not realizing how similar the two books were. I read Feinberg's "Stone Butch Blues" a long time ago, and followed ze's story over the years. Ze died last year, and I mourn hir loss. "Trans Liberation" is a compilation of some presentations that Feinberg gave to various conferences in 1998, along with chapters written by various participants of those conferences. I was pleased to note the inclusion of a chapter written by Cheryl Chase of the intersex community, along with articles by many across the trans spectrum. A nice complement to "Trans/Portraits," and I'll be watching for the next contributions in this literature.
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