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Anthology Critique History Humanities Law/Legal Nonfiction Other Social Sciences Theory

Trans Studies: The Challenge to Hetero/Homo Normativities

By Yolanda Martínez-San Miguel and Sarah Tobias, 2016

Recent events reveal the fundamental redefinition of gender that is taking place in many mainstream media and cultural venues in the United States. For example, on February 13, 2014, social media giant Facebook announced a new menu of gender identities as one of several initiatives related to its tenth-anniversary celebration. The list includes around fifty-one possible options, explicitly contesting binary notions of gender, and recognizing instead that gender identity is much more fluid and complex (Evans 2014). Also in February 2014, Janet Mock published Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More, a narration of her experiences as an African American male-to-female trans person, which rapidly earned a place on the New York Times Bestsellers list.1 Finally, in June 2014, HBO released its second season of Orange Is the New Black, featuring as one of its central characters an African American transgender woman played by Laverne Cox, an African American transgender actress.

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