How has a reliance on the medical archive distorted the intelligibility of trans of color life in the past? This essay interrogates the limit points of black trans and trans of color life in the early twentieth century. Examining a case at the Johns Hopkins Hospital from the 1930s where medical protocol was confounded by a black trans patient's refusal to cooperate, the author asks what the silence and unknowability produced around this person's life might do in the service of trans of color studies. Complicated by the fact that federal privacy regulations governing the medical archive actually serve to protect the doctor, not the patient in this case, prohibiting disclosure of the contents of the archive, the author works to transform the impossibility of recuperating a black trans or trans of color subject into a positive condition for the advancement of a trans of color critique that undermines medicine's reason.

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