In “Transgender Studies: Queer Theory’s Evil Twin,” part of the 2004 forum “Thinking Sex/Thinking Gender,” Susan Stryker underlined a critical way in which trans people had become exceptionalized by a certain strand of queer theory, serving as figures for the antibinary subversion of gender that left sexual subjectivity off the hook in accounting for itself as a default cis category. This abstraction into figuration was, precisely, a turning away from how Stryker had earlier theorized the queerness of gender and transness through the lens of her embodied knowledge and affect. Reading Stryker’s mobilization of rage in a wider history of trans women and trans women of color’s critiques of queer movements, we argue for the continued promise of Stryker’s critique in producing knowledge around the queerness of gender directly out of the material, embodied livelihood of trans people.
The Promise of Trans Critique: Susan Stryker’s Queer Theory
Gabby Benavente is an English PhD student at the University of Pittsburgh. Her interests include trans, queer, environmental, activist, and queer studies and how these fields can help imagine worlds that wrestle with legacies of violence.
Julian Gill-Peterson is assistant professor of English and gender, sexuality, and women’s studies at the University of Pittsburgh. They are author of Histories of the Transgender Child (University of Minnesota Press, 2018) and coeditor of “The Child Now,” a special issue of GLQ (2016).
Gabby Benavente, Julian Gill-Peterson; The Promise of Trans Critique: Susan Stryker’s Queer Theory. GLQ 1 January 2019; 25 (1): 23–28. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/10642684-7275222
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