This paper considers recent transfeminist critical creative work through an affective trope contingently named here as that belonging to the “transfeminist kill/joy,” after Sara Ahmed’s framing of the “feminist killjoy.” The trope of the transfeminist kill/joy can been read as a set of proliferating dialectics expressed as the rage that comes into being through living the violent effects of transphobia and trans-misogyny and through the practice of transformational love as a struggle for existence. The texts under consideration here work both to spoil feelings of political and social wellbeing or pleasure that are contingent upon the tacit absence or explicit exclusion of trans women in feminist conceptual and physical spaces and to re-structure, claim, and repair feminist happiness as a reparative impulse that holds these political affects in tension as creative potential.
“Transfeminist Kill/Joys: Rage, Love, Reparative Performance”
By T.L. Cowan, 2014