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Trans Liberation: Beyond Pink or Blue

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  1,539 ratings  ·  53 reviews
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 ...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published October 10th 1999 by Beacon Press (first published 1998)
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Aitziber
Dec 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: those struggling with their gender identity
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,
...more
Rebecca
Dec 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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, ...more
Sarah
Feb 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
...more
Ahc
Apr 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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,
...more
Ricky
Jan 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
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 :(
Basma
Jun 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
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
...more
Adam
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
...more
Tinea
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
...more
Jackson
May 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: trans folks who want to feel more connected; activisty folks who want to be more trans friendly
Shelves: queer, nonfiction
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
...more
Billy
Feb 08, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: queer-trans
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
...more
Gwen
May 30, 2011 rated it did not like it
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.
Zane Carey
Jul 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lgbt
one of the shortest things i have ever read, but definitely sticks in my heart
Straw
Oct 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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.
Kazumich
Jan 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
HeavyReader
Jun 20, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: queer
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
...more
Sonja
Jun 23, 2011 rated it liked it
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
...more
Nathan
Jun 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Rachel Mills
Jul 28, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: gender-theory
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
...more
Tina.
Oct 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Lila
Aug 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Monical
Jan 11, 2016 rated it liked it
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 ...more
AdamTheSoyBoy
Oct 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbt, 4-star, non-fiction
An excellent collections of essays and speeches from multiple cultures and identity across the LGBT community. I would die for Leslie Feinberg, so I was already into it before it started. There were perhaps a few things in the books that I disagreed with ideologically wise, but really this is still a great book for understanding the trans movement as we know it now, while also tying in the early trans movement of our parents and grandparents.

Highly suggest!
Milo
Feb 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: general-gender
Short, sweet, and to the point. Les is so poetic in getting a blunt point across. You can feel the anger and insistence, but at the same time are not scared off by it. A fantastic book to start with if you're unfamiliar with trans issues or do not believe them to consider you (provided you're in the male/female dichotomy).
Mel
Jul 20, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library
I got this book at the Minnehaha Free Space library.

This is an interesting book, where each chapter is a profile of a different person, or a speech that was given at an event. Some are the speeches are to a quite specific group of people. All of the profiles are very interesting!

I would recommend this book. It is helpful to understand people who may have different challenges from you.
Emmett Moore
Jul 19, 2011 rated it did not like it
Feinberg's book was interesting and convicting. I'd recommend it to anybody, regardless of their gender. Sie pulled together a beautiful mix of the thoughts of others and hir own public speeches; all were worth reading, and carried a different perspective of and hope for trans people. It was a very affirming read, one that I'll visit again, I'm sure.
Xander
Jul 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
This book is a collection of speeches by Feinberg as well as short pieces by other trans people. I thought what Feinberg had to say was really interesting, but the problem was that a lot of the information was repeated in several speeches, so there were a few times that I got a little bored. It's definitely worth a read, though, as ze has a lot of interesting things to say.
Beth
May 07, 2007 rated it it was ok
Love the Leslie F but would assign different readings on gender miself. I dislike this book for a similar reason as I dislike People's History. People's History - just read some of the books in the bibliography. TransL - use some of the books People's bibliography! My basic rant in this discussion: I love reclaiming history, but use some primary resources! Yeesh!
Alie
Apr 03, 2008 rated it really liked it
The portraits of peoples struggles and confirmations of their own gender identification were really moving. Some of the speeches Leslie gave were informative like, "I cant afford to be sick" gave a good look at health care in for trans people and all people with at insurance. However she makes a lot of calls to action that leave me asking, "How." Overall a good read.
Amy
Jun 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
I read Stone Butch Blues several years ago and connected with the characters in the book immediately, so I brought high expectations to my reading of Trans Liberation. I really liked how Feinberg brings out a lot of the nuances of being trans identified in this book. The last chapter contains some of Feinberg's most inspiring writing, and echoes the current political climate in the United States.
Kstn
Aug 14, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: sean, lloyd, puja, jon, and anyone else interested
i definitely dig les feinberg's writing style and appreciate his focus on showing how trans liberation relates to and is part and parcel of other social struggles around race and wealth inequality.

also, every other chapter is a self-portrait. i love love love personal stories. very quick read.
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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
...more
“Gender is the poetry each of us makes out of the language we are taught.” 70 likes
“I have heard an argument that transgender people oppress transsexual people because we are trying to tear down the categories of male and female. But isn't this the same reactionary argument used against transmen and transwomen by those who argue that any challenges to assigned birth sex threaten the categories of man and woman? Transgender people are not dismantling the categories of man and woman. We are opening up a world of possibilities in addition. Each of us has a right to our identities. 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 siege.” 5 likes
More quotes…