TERF, or trans‐exclusionary radical feminist, is a contemporary configuration that has gained traction in this feminist political moment to encapsulate an imagined set of generational tensions among feminists and queers with respect to gender's essential and/or expansive possibilities. It is also loaded with negative affect. This essay traces the ways that TERF travels in feminist dialogue—often alongside “lesbian”—and argues that loud disavowals of TERFs accumulate into discursive routines that present as anti‐anti‐trans, but (and) primarily function to preserve a sense of the threatened status of lesbians.

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