“Transgender rights are the civil rights issue of our time.” So stated Vice President Joe Biden just one week before the November 2012 election. This article critically reframes calls such as this by foregrounding a historical trajectory not celebrated by national LGBT groups or media or explicitly theorized in most queer or trans theory: the move from the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act to the present moment of trans hailing by the US state. Such a trajectory helps map the ways that neoliberal mandates regarding productive, capacitated bodies entrain the trans body to recreate an abled body not only in terms of gender and sexuality but also in terms of economic productivity and the economic development of national economy. Rather than argue for a better form of discretion between the categories of trans and disability, this article analyzes the ontological irreducibilities of such categories, irreducibilities that dissolve them through multiplicity. In following the implications of such an argument, this article unfolds trans and disability studies’ concerns within a broader analysis of the geopolitics of racial ontology.
By Jasbir K. Puar, 2015