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Biography Critique Essay Humanities Nonfiction

‘You aren’t from around here’: race, masculinity, and rural transgender men

By Miriam J. Abelson, 2016

Both scholarly and everyday understandings of transgender people tend to assume that they can only live well in urban places, yet there is little research on the transgender people actually living in rural communities. This article uses an intersectional analysis of 45 interviews conducted between 2010 and 2013 with transgender men living in the Southeast and Midwest United States to understand how some rural transgender people may not necessarily and automatically fare worse than those in cities. Indeed, these data demonstrate that a more productive question might be, which transgender people integrate into rural communities? The reported experiences of trans men suggest that the claims to sameness that are crucial to inclusion in rural communities are articulated centrally through whiteness and enacting appropriate rural working-class heterosexual masculinities. The claim to sameness allows for a measure of acceptance in rural communities under economic and demographic strain in the twenty-first century.

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