This essay argues for an imaginative reading practice in which the “trans” and the “study” of transgender studies are shown as coconstitutive. Arguing that the problem of incommensurability leads transgender studies to spend more time on the signifier trans than on the study of transgender studies, this essay uses the intuitive, ambivalent, and nuanced methodology of Toni Cade Bambara's Salt Eaters to open up space for a trans study that is more capacious, yet still tethered to the experience of living in one's skin as not only content but also form. Ultimately, this essay wonders how transgender studies can learn to live in the skin of a theory, in all its contradiction and strange negotiations, using the same imagination we use to make sense of our own embodied selves.

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