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This chapter discusses primarily eighteenth-century settler newspaper reports about trans women who sought to transform their bodies. The described strategies are variegated and creative, depicting approaches from modifications to dress to what might amount to hormone adjustment. Many reports are rendered in the judgmental and/or disciplinary language of strict settler gender systems and gendered racial expectations. The chapter showcases these reports as important for the ongoing project of writing thicker trans feminist histories of eighteenth-century North America. Second, the chapter positions these reports as a way to sketch a trans feminist historiographic method that combines care, creativity, and methods sensitive to eighteenth-century realities (colonialism, multiple understandings of gender diversity, racialization, enslavement). Central to the chapter is the assumption that erasing or undermining the claims of trans women to womanhood has been a prerogative of traditional historical methods, but that some scholarship nonetheless offers tools to undo assumptions of cisness.

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