This books examines representations and experiences of trans and nonbinary identities in a variety of contemporary cultural contexts including media, religion, sports, race, film, performance, and literature. Mixing auto-ethnographies and supportive scholarship, the contributors to this volume deliver a global perspective on the accomplishment that have been made alongside the challenges that members of the LGTBQIA+ community continue to face.
Mike Perez is associate professor of humanities and communication at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
John C. Lamothe is associate professor of humanities and communication at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
Rachel Friedman is associate professor of aviation administration at California State University at Los Angeles.
Chapter 1: TransForming Society?: Examining the Pros and Cons of the Trans Celebrity SpokespersonChapter 2: Popular vs. Personal: Transgender Narratives in Public Media CultureChapter 3: Schrödinger’s Dick: The Transgender Reveal Trope in Boy Meets GirlChapter 4: The Trans Baby Boom: Framing Male Pregnancy on TelevisionChapter 5: Where’s the ‘T’? RuPaul’s Drag Race and Transgender In/ExclusionChapter 6: How to Define Fair?: Examining Transgender on the ‘Level Playing Field.’Chapter 7: Gender Identity in Transgender ComicsChapter 8: Transgender Talk and Conservative Christians: Framing a Persuasive ConversationChapter 9: Transgender and Transracial Identity: A Cultural Examination of “Passing” Chapter 10: Transition to Neverland: Exploring Trans Boyhood through J.M. Barrie’s Peter PanChapter 11: Hijras and the Indian Caste SystemChapter 12: A Nonbinary Letter: From Camp Epicene
Having been in the trans studies game for decades, it’s always a treat to encounter fresh voices that have new things to say, from different generational and institutional perspectives, about topics that haven’t always been addressed in the existing trans studies literature. Mike Perez, Rachel Friedman, and John C. Lamothe have assembled a collection of just that sort of work in Beyond Binaries, centering trans and non-binary scholars reflecting on everything from comics culture to conservative Christianity. A solid contribution to the field.
Beyond Binaries provides insight into how sex and gender are negotiated, as well as how these negotiations are portrayed, for better or worse. It also makes visible how social institutions such as the media, sports regulatory agencies, and the medical community enforce and gate keep norms, while also highlighting how acceptance and visibility are growing in these spaces. Notably, "authorship includes scholars who identify not only as transgender but as gender-fluid and non-gender conforming” (p. xi), so this title will appeal to libraries looking to expand #OwnVoices in their collections. Chapters 1 and 2, which are an excellent introduction to the rest of the text, discuss intersectionality, beauty standards, current statistics, and the importance of media and celebrity in modern culture. Students may be especially interested in the chapters about RuPaul’s Drag Race (Ch. 5) and strategies for conversations with conservative Christians (Ch. 8). Transgender self-representation is on the rise in both traditional and new media. Although the transgender community has made enormous strides in the past decade, the statistics provided reveal that much work remains to be done, especially related to acceptance and opportunities for BIPOC and poor transgendered people. Essential.
Beyond Binaries is a powerful, inclusive, and timely collection of critical essays that engages transgender, gender-fluid, and non-binary identities in meaningful and important ways. This interdisciplinary collection offers diverse accounts of lived and mediated gender experiences that include the beauty and hardships of historical, contemporary, and even future transgender people. The book not only locates critical issues for transgender people here in the US but internationally as well. By bringing forth a diverse collection of voices, methodologies, and theoretical frameworks, the collection establishes its place in the repertoire of any person invested in developing a more holistic and critical understanding of transgender identity.