In this short essay, the author calls for a provincialization of trans studies by rethinking the framework of the liberal humanist ontological self as the given basis for understanding trans experience. Briefly describing the neglect of non-Western epistemologies and practices in canonical trans studies in the United States, the author argues that turning our attention to these modes of selfhood, identity, and embodiment, such as conceived within hijra cultures in India, would be useful in lending productive directions for future work within the field. The author suggests that this work should be undertaken not with the sole purpose of expanding the geographic contours of the field, but in the spirit of destabilizing and de-essentializing what the signifier trans itself represents.

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