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Critique Essay History Humanities Nonfiction Social Sciences Theory

Brown Trans Figurations: Rethinking Race, Gender, and Sexuality in ChicanxLatinx Studies

By Francisco J. Galarte, 2021

Within queer, transgender, and Latinx and Chicanx cultural politics, brown transgender narratives are frequently silenced and erased. Brown trans subjects are treated as deceptive, unnatural, nonexistent, or impossible, their bodies, lives, and material circumstances represented through tropes and used as metaphors. Restoring personhood and agency to these subjects, Francisco J. Galarte advances “brown trans figuration” as a theoretical framework to describe how transness and brownness coexist within the larger queer, trans, and Latinx historical experiences. Brown Trans Figurations presents a collection of representations that reveal the repression of brown trans narratives and make that repression visible and palpable. Galarte examines the violent deaths of two transgender Latinas and the corresponding narratives that emerged about their lives, analyzes the invisibility of brown transmasculinity in Chicana feminist works, and explores how issues such as transgender politics can be imagined as part of Chicanx and Latinx political movements. This book considers the contexts in which brown trans narratives appear, how they circulate, and how they are reproduced in politics, sexual cultures, and racialized economies.

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