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Trans Identities knowledge digest

Every month we – the FCA team together with you, our beloved guest writers – discuss, share personal stories, or explain theories around the monthly topic. Besides our own content, there is so much knowledge out there worth diving into. Every month we take the challenge to further educate ourselves, by writing but also by finding all the fun, interesting and educational content that has already been made. This month we collected the podcasts, movies, youtube channels, and articles that we loved most, to hopefully give you some guidance as well. Finding your way through the big pool of information can feel like a mirror maze: impossible to find your way through if you can find the entrance at all! So, check below our curated knowledge digest on this month’s topic: Trans Identities and feminism.

To listen 

  • De Genderkwiebus Podcast is a Dutch podcast in which Nanoah Struik discusses with guests gender-related issues, as well as multiple episodes explaining a wide range of gender topics in a very accessible way.

To watch

  • The documentary Disclosure on Netflix is very easy and interesting to watch, it reflects on how transgender people are portrayed in films and television, and the impact representation can have.
  • The beautiful Belgian/Dutch movie Girl is another one to put on your watch list! Girl is about a transsexual girl, who is transitioning while training to be a ballerina.
  • If you are new to this topic, this Trans 010 youtube series gives very clear explanations of many trans topics, concepts, and terminology. 
  • In terms of series, we already mentioned it in our film review but Pose, featuring the ballroom culture of New York in the 80s with the AIDS crisis in the background. Also Euphoria, which through the character of Jules (a transwoman) allows trans identity issues to go beyond the usual narratives. 
  • If you enjoyed Pose, then take a look at Paris is Burning, which also features the 80s transgender community in a brilliant and intersectional manner! 
  • A longer reportage on violence *TW depicts images of violence. Brazil grapples with increasing violence against the transgender community. It begins with testimony by one of Brazil’s top models, Valentina Sampaio. It is a reportage on an alternative way of being trans in Brazil. It is important to emphasize that transgender does not equal transvesti, there are many ways of being and doing trans. It shows a trajectory of the way people have started to deviate from the norm, where in the past transgender people would mostly follow a transvesti lifestyle. It also engages with Brazil’s reputation as one of the most lethal places for trans people. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sz0XFHyU64
  • Miss Galaxy Beauty Peagant in Tonga – Lady Eva  Explores Leita’s very visual presence in a day to day life in Tonga and explores  questions of their position in society  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gMmibQ9OyAg

To read

  • Trans- Singapore: some notes towards queer Asia as method by Audrey Yue  “ Using three case studies that examine colonial transsexual subculture, postcolonial transgender biomedical modernity and the contemporary inter-Asian performances of tomboy boybands, this paper examines these practices of trans-embodiment to reveal their centrality to Singapore’s modernity. While the recent transgender turn in the West has resulted in trans-visibility and acceptance, this paper will critically show how the experience of trans-visibility in Singapore provides a different model to consider the narrative of progressive modernity.” (Yue 2017) 
  • The Gender of Brazilian Transgendered Prostitutes by Don Kulick  Anthropological in nature, an exploration of the gender of Brazilian transgender prostitutes. Very fascinating prominent article on discussions of gender in the context of transgenderism. https://www.jstor.org/stable/681744
  • Transgenderism, Locality and the Miss Galaxy Beauty Pageant in Tonga by Niko Besnier  Deep and long term anthropological work of trangenderism and gender in Tonga. https://www.jstor.org/stable/3805464
  • The Transgender Studies Reader by Susan Strykker & Stephen Whittle  An introductory text on transgender studies, which focuses on the various forms of embodiment by inserting marginalised lived experiences in the canon. “Most broadly conceived, the field of transgender studies is concerned with anything that disrupts, denaturalizes rearticulates, and makes visible the normative linkages we generally assume to exist between the biological specificity of the sexually differentiated human body, the social roles and statuses that a particular form of body is expected to occupy, the subjectively experienced relationship between a gendered sense of self and social expectations of gender-role performance, and the cultural mechanisms that work to sustain or thwart specific configurations of gendered personhood.” (Stryker, 2006)
  • Short Article on the use of the term womxn and whether this is more or less inclusive regarding the trans community by Cassie Barradas https://www.girlboss.com/read/womxn-meaning
  • And of course, Whipping girl by Julia Serano, which we discussed during the book club last week is highly recommended! It’s easy but also a bit longer (and therewith thorough) read on trans theories, experiences as a trans woman, and a clearly written explanation of the misconceptions on trans people, femininity, and gender in general.