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Critique Essay Humanities Nonfiction Social Sciences Theory

Is Transmisogyny Killing Trans Women of Color? Black Trans Feminisms and the Exigencies of White Femininity

By Elías Cosenza Krell, 2017

This article takes as its starting point a recent appearance by musician, actress, and TransTech Social Enterprises CEO Angelica Ross on Caitlyn Jenner’s reality television show, “I Am Cait.” The first section places Ross’s exegesis in conversation with C. Riley Snorton on the representation of Black sexual duplicity in popular culture and Audre Lorde’s critique of white saviorism. Part 2 turns to contemporary discourses of transmisogyny and demonstrates that the term is ill equipped to address the structures of power that manifested in “I Am Cait.” The discussion suggests that race and class surreptitiously impact the emergence and circulation of transmisogyny as an analytic. Julia Serano’s scholarship is read alongside Marlon B. Ross on the universalization of whiteness in theories of gender and sexuality. A final, briefer section posits alternative genealogies of trans feminism that focalize the writing, activism, and performance work of trans women of color.

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