Lesbians Who Eat Their Young: How Sarah Schulman and I got the boot from Best Le... December 2, 2013 | Ella Boureau
Pro-Family Ideology and the Queer Community of Friends... September 20, 2013 | Sarah Schulman
Interview with Yishay Garbasz March 3, 2013 | Tobaron Waxman
Sarah Schulman’s Joy and the Queer Practice of Everyday Freedom... February 14, 2013 | Ted Kerr
Just Hit Send January 1, 2013 | Kelli Dunham
Interview with Nina Arsenault December 12, 2012 | Tobaron Waxman
Palestinian Trail of Tears: Joy Harjo’s Missed Opportunity for Indigenous Soli... December 12, 2012 | Sa’ed Adel Atshan
On Ableism within Queer Spaces, or, Queering the “Normal”... December 7, 2012 | Edward Ndopu
You Are Who I Am December 7, 2012 | Jake Pyne
After graduating from the University of Texas in 2007, I entered one of the most complex periods of my life. Since childhood I had consistently felt more like a woman than a man, but growing up in a small town in rural North Carolina I had always been terrified to express this to anyone. By the time I entered college (still in North Carolina), I had some rough idea that maybe there was something I could do about the situation, but I told myself that obtaining my Ph.D. and getting a start on my career in physics should be my first priority.
However, deep inside what I really feared was that nobody would ever take me seriously as a trans woman in physics. I didn’t know any trans women in my own life— much less trans women successful in science— to whom I could look up as mentors. Not to mention that I had few reliable sources of information about my own situation in general terms; in fact, I wasn’t even familiar with phrases like “gender identity” or “trans woman” at the time I made that decision.
It seems trans people only get a real audience within the publishing industry to tell that one story which fascinates cisgender audiences as spectacle.
When I got my Advance Reader Copy of The Collection: Short Fiction from the Transgender Vanguard, the inaugural release from Topside Press, a new independent press devoted to publishing much-needed literary fiction with trans protagonists, the only way I can begin to describe my excitement is to liken it to the excitement I would have felt at receiving an Advance Reader Copy of the much anticipated final Harry Potter book. If you’re anything like me, you’ve been anxiously awaiting the release of Topside Press’s inaugural publication, The Collection since the call for submissions was posted back in 2011. And in my world, it’s not an exaggeration to say that The Collection is the most anticipated literary release since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
If this sounds a little extreme, you probably haven’t been paying close attention to the world of trans literature so let me explain: Up to this point, trans literature has consisted largely of academic gender theory, tell-all autobiographies and heart-wrenching memoir thinly disguised as fiction. Trans characters show up in literature as plot devices, examples of a truly enlightened (or truly disturbed, depending upon the author) state of living, or as heroic gender warriors who have accomplished nothing in our lives as important as bravely making it through transition. Although so many of the trans people with whom I am lucky enough to be acquainted are talented artists, writers, activists, storytellers, comedians and people of the world, it seems we only get a real audience within the publishing industry to tell that one story which fascinates cisgender audiences as spectacle or example but speaks little to the diversity of our experiences in the world.
Stephanie Schroeder’s memoir Beautiful Wreck: Sex Lies & Suicide will be released Monday, September 10. On the eve of the publication, I interviewed her about her captivating personal narrative of mental illness.
I can imagine that writing this book, or any book, would be especially difficult while dealing with mental health issues. How did you know that this was the right time to write your book?
I started writing Beautiful Wreck in 2004, in the middle of suicidal episodes, a bad relationship, and it was hard because I couldn’t even really deal with what was happening right under my nose. I worked on it on and off until 2008, when I became unemployed.
Where were you on August 9, 2012? If your answer isn’t “Buddies in Bad Times Theatre in Toronto,” you seriously missed out on history.
TWAT/Fest, the Trans Women’s Arts Toronto Festival (lovingly nicknamed the Trans Women’s Arts Throwdown), conceptualized and curated by PrettyQueer’s own Morgan M. Page/Odofemi, took place this month for the first time. TWAT/Fest was the world’s first ever fine arts festival planned and curated by trans women to showcase the work of trans women artists. The festival featured visual and performance art in a variety of media by talented trans women fine artists from across North America, each piece more stunning than the last.