I was in my old station wagon, driving home from teaching my transgender literature course, when I first heard about Danielle Allen's biography Cuz: Or the Life and Times of Michael A. At first, I was only half listening to the author's interview on public radio, focused instead on the events of the day's class. My students and I had been working through Janet Mock's 2014 memoir Redefining Realness, and I'd offered a reading in which Mock's portrayal of her partner Aaron, saturated with the sweetness of heterosexual desire, was an attempt to reach a mainstream audience. Perhaps, I'd said, these romantic scenes are a tactic to connect with the type of white cis women who might be reading Mock's story at a suburban feminist book club. But my students didn't see strategic essentialism at all; they saw outright resistance....
Representing Perpetrators: Reading Trans Violence in Danielle Allen's Cuz: Or the Life and Times of Michael A.
Cassius Adair is a writer from Virginia. He holds a PhD in English language and literature from the University of Michigan and is currently working on a book about the transgender internet. His work appears in American Quarterly, American Literature, TSQ, Avidly, and Misadventures, among other places.
Cassius Adair; Representing Perpetrators: Reading Trans Violence in Danielle Allen's Cuz: Or the Life and Times of Michael A.. TSQ 1 February 2020; 7 (1): 121–125. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/23289252-7914584
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