The author reflects here on a 2004 GLQ forum titled “Thinking Sex/Thinking Gender,” which focused on the relationships between gender, sex, and sexuality as intertwining and diverging categories of analysis. The essay contends specifically with the role of the category transgender in these relationships. By focusing on histories of funding for LGBTQ organizations, especially the philanthropic response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the author demonstrates how gender and sexuality remain importantly intertwined both theoretically and practically while trans and gender-nonconforming communities remain sidelined. Through examining this institutional history in conversation with theoretical debates about “transgender” as an object of inquiry in queer studies, the author argues for a discursively and material significant separation of “transgender” from the LGB(T)Q acronym, if only to examine the category for its full, often-precarious, and complicated realities.
Centering the “Evil Twin”: Rethinking Transgender in Queer Theory
V Varun Chaudhry is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Anthropology at Northwestern University. His work focuses on the institutionalization of “transgender” in nonprofit and funding agencies through ethnographic research in Philadelphia, PA. V’s research has been generously supported by the Social Science Research Council, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, the Sexualities Project at Northwestern, and the Center for the Study of Women in Society at the University of Oregon. His writing appears or is forthcoming in Critical Inquiry and American Anthropologist.
V Varun Chaudhry; Centering the “Evil Twin”: Rethinking Transgender in Queer Theory. GLQ 1 January 2019; 25 (1): 45–50. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/10642684-7275278
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