Arresting Dress: Cross-Dressing, Law, and Fascination in Nineteenth-Century San Francisco
Introduction: Not Belonging
This chapter previews the book’s main arguments, situating them in relation to transgender and queer studies as well as critical cultural studies of law. It also provides a historical overview of cross-dressing laws in the United States, documenting their frequent passage in mid-nineteenth-century cities and their continued enforcement in queer and transgender communities one hundred years later. The introduction describes the theoretical significance of studying cross-dressing laws and introduces problem bodies and trans-ing analysis as two of the book’s conceptual contributions. It describes the book’s archival foundations and introduces several of the historical characters who populate the rest of the work.