1. James McDonald, “Laverne Cox Declares Transgender State of Emergency,” Out Magazine, August 20, 2015, https://www.out.com/news-opinion/2015/8/20/laverne-cox-declares-transgender-state-emergency; Janet Mock, Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love, & So Much More (New York: Atria Books, 2014); CeCe McDonald, “‘Go Beyond Our Natural Selves’: The Prison Letters of CeCe McDonald,” intr. Omise’eke Natasha Tinsley, Transgender Studies Quarterly 4, no. 2 (2017): 243–65; I Am Jazz, The Learning Channel, 2015; Moriah Balingit, “Gavin Grimm Just Wanted to Use the Bathroom. He Didn’t Think the Nation Would Debate It,” Washington Post, August 30, 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/gavin-grimm-just-wanted-to-use-the-bathroom-he-didnt-think-the-nation-would-debate-it/. Caitlyn Jenner’s late-in-life coming-out and contested attempts to immediately claim a public position of leadership on trans issues also put her into a strange generational relationship with trans children, as well as a frictional relation to black trans women, both of whose public trans visibility and vulnerability long preceded hers. See Julian Gill-Peterson, “Growing Up Trans in the 1960s and 2010s,” in Misfits: An Inquiry into Childhood Belongings, ed. Markus Bohlmann (Lanham, Md.: Lexington Books), 213–30.
2. For media from the past several years that reflect this figuration, see I Am Jazz: A Family in Transition, dir. Jen Stocks, Oprah Winfrey Network, November 27, 2011; PBS Frontline, Season 34, Episode 1, “Growing Up Trans,” PBS, June 29, 2015; Amy Ellis Nutt, Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family (New York: Random House, 2016); “Special Issue: The Gender Revolution,” National Geographic, January 2017; and 3 Generations, dir. Gabby Dellal (Los Angeles: Weinstein Company, 2017). See also Gill-Peterson, “Growing Up Trans in the 1960s and 2010s.”
3. C. Riley Snorton and Jin Haritaworn, “Trans Necropolitics: A Transnational Reflection on Violence, Death, and the Trans of Color Afterlife,” in The Transgender Studies Reader 2, ed. Susan Stryker and Aren Z. Aizura (New York: Routledge, 2013), 66–76.
4. Treva Ellison, Kai M. Green, Matt Richardson, and C. Riley Snorton, “We Got Issues: Toward a Black Trans*/Studies,” Transgender Studies Quarterly 4, no. 2 (2017): 162–69; Elías Cosenza Krell, “Is Transmisogyny Killing Trans Women of Color? Black Trans Feminisms and the Exigencies of White Femininity,” Transgender Studies Quarterly 4, no. 2 (2017): 226–42; Syrus Marcus Ware, “All Power to All People? Black LGBTTI2QQ Activism, Remembrance, and Archiving in Toronto,” Transgender Studies Quarterly 4, no. 2 (2017): 170–80; and Erin Durban-Albrecht, “Postcolonial Disablement and/as Transition: Trans* Haitian Narratives of Breaking Open and Stitching Together,” Transgender Studies Quarterly 4, no. 2 (2017): 195–207.
5. Robin Bernstein, Racial Innocence: Performing American Childhood from Slavery to Civil Rights (New York: New York University Press, 2011). On the “emptiness” of childhood innocence, see James Kincaid, Eroticizing Innocence: The Culture of Child Molesting (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1998).
6. The high material cost of this figurative separation manifests in one form as the fungibility attached to black trans and trans of color children’s lives, a fact illustrated painfully by the case of the murder of Latisha King and the repetition of violence against her during the criminal trial of her killer. See Gayle Salamon, The Life and Death of Latisha King: A Critical Phenomenology of Transphobia (New York: New York University Press, 2018).
7. Eva S. Hayward, “Don’t Exist,” Transgender Studies Quarterly 4, no. 2 (2017): 191.
8. The archive of examples here is growing almost daily. For two examples typical of the narrative I am describing, see PBS Frontline, “Growing Up Trans,” and “The Gender Revolution.”
9. On the politics of refusal and racial plasticity, see Sandra Harvey, “The HeLa Bomb and the Science of Unveiling,” Catalyst: Feminism, Theory, Technoscience 2, no. 2 (2016): 18–20.
10. Theories of trans- or trans* grounded in radical openness or a creative capacity for transformation and mutability, in particular, have gone so far as to equate conceptually trans with plasticity. See, for example, Nicholas Chare and Ika Willis, “Trans-: Across/Beyond,” Parallax 22, no. 3 (2016): 267–89. I follow instead the critical framework of scholars like Zakiyyah Iman Jackson, who shows that plasticity-as-mutability easily underwrites both progressive and profoundly dehumanizing projects, particular in the case of slavery, blackness, and the creation of the human. See Jackson, “Losing Manhood: Animality and Plasticity in the (Neo)Slave Narrative,” Qui Parle 25, no. 1–2 (2016): 95–136. For a historical investigation of the racialization of plasticity in the nineteenth century, the period that precedes this book, see Kyla Schuller, The Biopolitics of Feeling: Race, Sex, and Science in the Nineteenth Century (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2017).
11. To be clear, this is not a criticism of the vital and still emerging scholarship on trans children. This work focuses on the contemporary world not out of any neglect of the past but mostly because of disciplinary convention: it is largely coming out of sociology and ethnographies of the clinic and families with trans children, rather than from fields that typically engage with archives and extensive history. What I am actually interested in is the generational and historiographical assumptions that have come to suffuse this work in the absence of a historicity to trans children, which I take up later.
12. Tey Meadow, “Child,” Transgender Studies Quarterly 1, no. 1–2 (2014): 57.
13. This issue frequently turns up in journalistic accounts. See Freda R. Savana, “Looking at Suppressing Puberty for Transgender Kids,” Washington Times, March 1, 2016, http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/mar/12/looking-at-suppressing-puberty-for-transgender-kid/. The distinction of reversible/irreversible is also being codified into the standards of care for pediatric trans medicine. See Johanna Olson-Kennedy, Stephen M. Rosenthal, Jennifer Hastings, and Linda Wesp, “Health Considerations for Gender Non-Conforming Children and Transgender Adolescents,” Center of Excellence for Transgender Health, http://transhealth.ucsf.edu/trans?page=guidelines-youth.
14. This concern becomes a dramatic plotline for one family with a thirteen-year-old trans child in “Growing Up Trans.” I critique the presumptions upon which the entire dispute relies in Gill-Peterson, “Growing Up Trans in the 1960s and 2010s.”
15. The most common origin story is that a Dutch clinic developed puberty suppression therapy before it was adopted elsewhere in Europe, the UK, Canada, and the United States. See Peggy T. Cohen-Kettenis and Friedmann Pfäfflin, Transgenderism and Intersexuality in Childhood and Adolescence: Making Choices (London: Sage, 2003).
16. Jack Halberstam, “Trans*—Gender Transitivity and New Configurations of Body, History, Memory and Kinship,” Parallax 22, no. 3 (2016): 367.
17. Meadow, “Child,” 58.
18. Halberstam, “Trans*,” 367.
19. On the massively unrepresented trans children of color and those without adequate financial or bureaucratic means to access medicine, see Ann Travers, The Trans Generation: How Trans Kids (and Their Parents) Are Creating a Gender Revolution (New York: New York University Press, 2018). I return to this issue in the conclusion.
20. I return at more significant length to this problem of generational succession in chapter 5, including by looking at Halberstam’s work on the “border wars” between butch lesbians and trans men.
21. See Susan Stryker, Paisley Currah, and Lisa Jean Moore, “Trans-, Trans, or Transgender?,” Women’s Studies Quarterly 36, no. 3–4 (2008): 11–22; Eva Hayward, “More Lessons from a Starfish: Prefixial Flesh and Transspeciated Selves,” Women’s Studies Quarterly 36, no. 3–4 (2008): 64–85; Chare and Willis, “Trans-: Across/Beyond”; and Eliza Steinbock, Marianna Szczygielska, and Anthony Wagner, “Thinking Linking,” Angelaki: Journal of the Theoretical Humanities 22, no. 2 (2017): 1–10.
22. Susan Stryker, Transgender History (Berkeley, Calif.: Seal Press, 2008), 24.
23. Sandy Stone, “The Empire Strikes Back: A Posttranssexual Manifesto,” 1987, https://sandystone.com/empire-strikes-back.pdf. See also Stone’s trenchant reflections on the category in Susan Stryker, “Another Dream of Common Language: An Interview with Sandy Stone,” Transgender Studies Quarterly 3, no. 1–2 (2016): 303–4.
24. Leslie Feinberg, Transgender Warriors: Making History from Joan of Arc to Dennis Rodman (Boston: Beacon Press, 1996), ix, emphasis in original. My thanks to Julie Beaulieu for pointing me toward this passage.
25. Paul Amar, “The Street, the Sponge, and the Ultra: Queer Logics of Children’s Rebellion and Political Infantilization,” GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies 22, no. 4 (2016): 571.
26. Amar, “The Street,” 597.
27. Amar, “The Street,” 597.
28. Kathryn Bond Stockton, The Queer Child, or Growing Sideways in the Twentieth Century (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2009).
29. Even in Joanne Meyerowitz’s landmark book How Sex Changed: A History of Transsexuality in the United States (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2004), the chapter that covers the era before the 1950s reads like a predicate—an overview of historiographical possibilities, rather than an investigation as detailed as what follows on the midcentury. Although this is in no doubt partly an effect of Meyerowitz being one of the first historians to write in-depth about Christine Jorgensen and 1950s transsexual medicine, it is notable that there are still no book-length studies of the first half of the twentieth century in isolation.
30. Paul B. Preciado, Testo Junkie: Sex, Drugs, and Biopolitics in the Pharmacopornographic Era, trans. Bruce Benderson (New York: Feminist Press, 2014). I take up this point in greater detail in chapter 2.
31. Jay Prosser, Second Skins: The Body Narratives of Transsexuality (New York: Columbia University Press, 1998), 8; Bernice L. Hausman, Changing Sex: Transsexualism, Technology, and the Idea of Gender (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1995). Preciado’s claim in Testo Junkie that “the pharmacopornographic business is the invention of a subject and then its global reproduction” (36, emphasis in original) reads uncomfortably close to Hausman’s that it is “through the analysis of discursive formations that one can trace the conditions of possibility for the emergence of new subjectivities” (viii), which in turn prefaces her argument that “the development of certain medical technologies made the advent of transsexualism possible” (7) and, infamously, that “transsexuals are the dupes of gender” (140).
32. Meyerowitz, How Sex Changed, 21.
33. On the challenges of the twentieth-century trans archive, see Laura Peimer, “Trans* Collecting at the Schlesinger Library: Privacy Protection and the Challenges of Description and Access,” Transgender Studies Quarterly 2, no. 4 (2015): 614–20; Ms. Bob Davis, “Using Archives to Identify the Trans* Women of Casa Susana,” Transgender Studies Quarterly 2, no. 4 (2015): 621–34; and Chase Joynt and Kristen Schilt, “Anxiety at the Archive,” Transgender Studies Quarterly 2, no. 4 (2015): 635–44.
34. Meyerowitz, in How Sex Changed, and Hausman, in Changing Sex, both frame the first half of the twentieth century in this way. On interwar endocrinology, see Alice Dreger, “A History of Intersexuality, from the Age of Gonads to the Age of Consent,” Journal of Clinical Ethics 9, no. 4 (199): 345–55; and Henry Rubin, Self-Made Men: Identity and Embodiment among Transsexual Men (Nashville, Tenn.: Vanderbilt University Press, 2003), 35–59. One noteworthy exception to this framing is Stryker’s Transgender History. Given that Stryker aims to undermine the dominance of medical discourse in trans history, instead focusing on “the collective political history of transgender social change and activism in the United States” (2), she is able to identify a range of rich sites for investigating the early twentieth century from a trans perspective, as far back as the establishment of the Cercle Hermaphroditos, a trans social club, in New York City in 1895 (41).
35. Meyerowitz, How Sex Changed, 21.
36. For a broader reflection on the naming and claiming of trans archives, see K. J. Rawson, “An Inevitably Political Craft,” Transgender Studies Quarterly 2, no. 4 (2015): 544–52.
37. Ralph Werther, Autobiography of an Androgyne, ed. Scott Herring (New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 2008). Subsequent page references made in-text.
38. Stryker, Transgender History, 41.
39. Werther, Autobiography of an Androgyne, 21. Subsequent references in-text.
40. Emma Heaney, The New Woman: Literary Modernism, Queer Theory, and the Trans Feminine Allegory (Chicago: Northwestern University Press, 2017), 174, emphasis added.
41. Heaney, The New Woman, 14.
42. Peter Coviello, Tomorrow’s Parties: Sex and the Untimely in Nineteenth-Century America (New York: New York University Press, 2013), 20.
43. On the historical shift through which the aspirational model of trans sex produced its difference from cis sex, see Heaney, The New Woman, 48.
44. Jennifer Germon, Gender: A Genealogy of an Idea (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009); Sharon E. Preves, “Sexing the Intersexed: An Analysis of Sociocultural Responses to Intersexuality,” Signs 27, no. 2 (2001): 523–56; David A. Rubin, “‘An Unnamed Blank That Craved a Name’: A Genealogy of Intersex as Gender,” Signs 37, no. 4 (2012): 883–908; and Jemima Repo, “The Biopolitical Birth of Gender: Social Control, Hermaphroditism, and the New Sexual Apparatus,” Alternatives: Global, Local, Political 38, no. 3 (2013): 228–44.
45. See Gayle Salamon’s important essay “The Meontology of Castration,” Parallax 22, no. 3 (2016): 312–22.
46. Michael Dillon, Self: A Study in Endocrinology and Ethics (London: Heinemann, 1946).
47. Alan L. Hart to Mary Roberts Rinehart, August 3, 1921, Folder 8, Box 21, Series VI, MRR. Hart has also been claimed as a lesbian, notably by Jonathan Ned Katz in Gay American History: Lesbians and Gay Men in the U.S.A. (New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1992), 390–422. The porosity of the inversion discourse that circulated in this era makes it difficult to disentangle sex from sexuality in the sense of object choice. Nevertheless, in terms of medicine, Hart’s interest in hormone therapy, hysterectomy, and gonadectomy certainly makes him an important figure in the history of endocrinology and transsexual medicine before the field came about. For more on identifying trans people from this era, see chapter 2.
48. Louise Lawrence to Harry Benjamin, June 1, 1953, Box 1, Series 1-B, LL.
49. Vicki’s letters are discussed in detail in chapter 4.
50. Aaron Devor and Nicholas Matte, “Building a Better World for Transpeople: Reed Erickson and the Erickson Educational Foundation,” International Journal of Transgenderism 10, no. 1 (2007): 47–68; Aaron Devor and Nicholas Matte, “ONE Inc. and Reed Erickson,” GLQ 10, no. 2 (2004): 179–209.
51. Abram J. Lewis, “‘I Am 64 and Paul McCartney Doesn’t Care’: The Haunting of the Transgender Archive and the Challenges of Queer History,” Radical History Review 120 (2014): 22–23.
52. Lewis, “I Am 64,” 22.
53. Abram J. Lewis, “Trans Animisms,” Angelaki: Journal of the Theoretical Humanities 22, no. 2 (2017): 203; Reina Gossett, “Occupy Humor & Grief as Transformative Practices,” March 15, 2012, http://www.reinagossett.com/occupy-humor-grief-as-transformative-practices/.
54. For a discussion of this concept in terms of rural trans life, see Jack Halberstam, In a Queer Time and Place: Transgender Bodies, Subcultural Lives (New York: New York University Press, 2005), 22–46. On metronormativity in queer theory, where the concept has been explored in greater detail, see Martin F. Manalansan, Chantal Nadeau, Richard T. Rodriguez, and Siobhan B. Somerville, “Queering the Middle: Race, Region and a Queer Midwest,” GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies 20, no. 1–2 (2014): 1–12; and Scott Herring, Another Country: Queer Anti-Urbanism (New York: New York University Press, 2010).
55. Sylvia Rivera, “Queens in Exile, the Forgotten Ones,” in Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries: Survival, Revolt, and Queer Antagonist Struggle, ed. Ehn Nothing (Untorelli Press, 2013), 42.
56. Notes from Martin Duberman Interview with Sylvia Rivera, October 12, 1990, 5–6, Folder 1, JK.
57. Ehn Nothing, “Queers against Society,” in Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries: Survival, Revolt, and Queer Antagonist Struggle, ed. Ehn Nothing (Untorelli Press, 2013), 7.
58. Rivera, “Queens in Exile, the Forgotten Ones,” 42.
59. Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson, “Rapping with a Street Transvestite Revolutionary,” in Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries: Survival, Revolt, and Queer Antagonist Struggle, ed. Ehn Nothing (Untorelli Press, 2013), 28.
60. Rivera and Johnson, “Rapping with a Street Transvestite Revolutionary,” 29.
61. Notes from Martin Duberman Interview, 7.
62. Some activists have maintained an interest in claiming these street kids as gay, rather than trans, although the factual basis for those kinds of distinctions seems rather weak and tends to be part and parcel of political battles over the legacy of the Stonewall riots in the West Village in New York City more than anything else. See David Carter, “Gay Street Youth: The Fire in the Stonewall Riots,” Pride Magazine, 2003, Folder 18, Box 1, BK.
63. Jessi Gan argues that “Rivera is . . . profoundly important in a Latin@, transgender, and queer historiography where histories of transgender people of color are few and far between.” Gan, “‘Still at the Back of the Bus’: Sylvia Rivera’s Struggle,” Centro Journal 19, no. 1 (2007): 128.
64. While there is an abundant literature about Rivera and Johnson, it tends to repeat the same narratives and vignettes about their lives, presumably because that is all that has been archived or that can be remembered by people who knew them. In addition to the sources mentioned in this introduction, see Martin Duberman, Stonewall (New York: Penguin, 1993); Liz Highleyman, “Sylvia Rivera: A Woman before Her Time,” in Smash the Church, Smash the State! The Early Years of Gay Liberation, ed. Tommi Avicolli Mecca (San Francisco: City Lights Books, 2009), 172–81; Tommi Avicolli Mecca, “Marsha P. Johnson: New York City Legend,” in Smash the Church, Smash the State! The Early Years of Gay Liberation, ed. Tommi Avicolli Mecca (San Francisco: City Lights Books, 2009), 261–62; Benjamin Shepard, “Sylvia and Sylvia’s Children: A Battle for a Queer Public Space,” in That’s Revolting! Queer Strategies for Resisting Assimilation, ed. Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore (New York: Soft Skull Press, 2008); and Leslie Feinberg, “Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries,” Workers World, September 24, 2006, http://www.workers.org/2006/us/lavender-red-73/. One nonacademic source of similar narratives comes in the form of obituaries for and remembrances of Rivera. See Michael Bronski, “Sylvia Rivera: 1951–2002,” Z Magazine, April 1, 2002, https://zcomm.org/zmagazine/sylvia-rivera-1951-2002-by-michael-bronski/; and Riki Wilchins, “A Woman for Her Time,” Village Voice, February 26, 2002, https://www.villagevoice.com/2002/02/26/a-woman-for-her-time/. Archival holdings on their lives are even more ephemeral, but see BK and JK in particular. Reina Gossett's work in recovering and making Rivera’s archive accessible has been instrumental and, far too frequently, uncredited.
65. Stephan Cohen, “An Historical Investigation of School and Community-Based Gay Liberation Youth Groups, New York City, 1969–1975: An Army of Lovers Cannot Fail” (thesis, Harvard University, 2004), 138.
66. Gan, “Still at the Back of the Bus,” 133. Shepard concurs in “Sylvia and Sylvia’s Children” that even after the dissolution of S.T.A.R., “Rivera played the role of surrogate mother to a community of homeless transgender and queer street kids on the piers” (127).
67. Feinberg, “Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries.”
68. Feinberg, “Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries.”
69. Sylvia Rivera, “Y’all Better Quiet Down,” in Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries: Survival, Revolt, and Queer Antagonist Struggle, ed. Ehn Nothing (Untorelli Press, 2013), 30.
70. Dick Leitsch to Bob Kohler, September 12, 1969, Folder 17, Box 1, BK.
71. I also agree that the persistence of transphobic feminist projects within the academy is another area of urgent concern for the field, as Susan Stryker and Talia M. Bettcher point out in “Introduction: Trans/Feminisms,” Transgender Studies Quarterly 3, no. 1–2 (2016): 5–7. See also Cael M. Keegan’s discussion of “compromise” over gender bathroom policies at the National Women Studies Association annual meetings, “On Being the Object of Compromise,” Transgender Studies Quarterly 3, no. 1–2 (2016): 150–57.
72. Contrast this approach to thinking race and trans together with something like Trans: Gender and Race in the Age of Unsettled Identities (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2016), Rogers Brubaker’s sociologically driven text that attempts to compare the controversy over Caitlyn Jenner and Rachel Dolezal to think about the incommensurability of transgender and transracial narratives. By taking a highly contemporary, twenty-first-century controversy as his launch point, as if there were no relation between trans and racialized forms of life in the past, and by snubbing trans of color studies scholars who have worked extensively on thinking about race and trans together, Brubaker is able to colonize the subject despite admittedly having no expertise in either trans studies or critical race studies (xi). This model also has the effect of entirely flattening the category “race” into an almost meaningless sociological descriptor, which distorts and undermines the position of blackness and the visibility of antiblackness in his analysis. Brubaker’s uninterrogated model of subjectivity also reiterates the normative subject of the West as the only intelligible form of gendered and racialized life.
73. Ellison, Green, Richardson, and Snorton, “We Got Issues,” 164.
74. Ellison, Green, Richardson, and Snorton, “We Got Issues,” 164, emphasis added.
75. Susan Stryker and Aren Z. Aizura, “Transgender Studies 2.0,” in The Transgender Studies Reader 2, ed. Susan Stryker and Aren Z. Aizura (New York: Routledge, 2013), 10.
76. Snorton and Haritaworn, “Trans Necropolitics,” 67.
77. See Alexander G. Weheliye, Habeas Viscus: Racializing Assemblages, Biopolitics, and Black Feminist Theories of the Human (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2014); and Denise Ferreira da Silva, “Before Man: Sylvia Wynter’s Rewriting of the Modern Episteme,” in Sylvia Wynter: On Being Human as Praxis, ed. Katherine McKittrick (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2015), 90–105.
78. See, for example, Steinbock, Szczygielska, and Wagner, “Thinking Linking.” Wynter’s concept of “a new science of the word” is also a rich resource for thinking about the undermining and transformation of Western medical science through alternate forms of embodied knowledge previously disqualified by its rationality and coloniality. Sylvia Wynter and Katherine McKittrick, “Unparalleled Catastrophe for Our Species? Or, to Give Humanness a Different Future: Conversations,” in Sylvia Wynter: On Being Human as Praxis, ed. Katherine McKittrick (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2015), 14. See also Walter Mignolo’s reflections on “decolonial scientia” in “Sylvia Wynter: What Does It Mean to Be Human?,” in Sylvia Wynter: On Being Human as Praxis, ed. Katherine McKittrick (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2015), 115–18.
79. On the convergences and divergences of trans and indigenous studies, see Scott L. Morgensen, “Conditions of Critique: Responding to Indigenous Resurgence within Gender Studies,” Transgender Studies Quarterly 3, no. 1–2 (2016): 192–201; and Kale Fajardo, “Queer/Asian Filipinos in Oregon: A Trans*Colonial Approach,” lecture given at the University of Pittsburgh, February 29, 2016.
80. Joseli Maria Silva and Marcio Jose Ornat, “Transfeminism and Decolonial Thought: The Contribution of Brazilian Travestis,” trans. Sean Stroud, Transgender Studies Quarterly 3, no. 1–2 (2016): 220.
81. Aren Z. Aizura, Trystan Cotton, Carsten Balzer/Carla LaGata, Marcia Ochoa, and Salvador Vidal-Ortiz, “Introduction,” Transgender Studies Quarterly 1, no. 3 (2014): 304.
82. Chapter 3, on the invention of gender, takes up this point in greatest detail.
83. C. Riley Snorton, Black on Both Sides: A Racial History of Trans Identity (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2017), 157.
84. Snorton, Black on Both Sides.
85. Susan Stryker, “We Who Are Sexy: Christine Jorgensen’s Transsexual Whiteness in the Postcolonial Philippines,” Social Semiotics 19, no. 1 (2009): 79–91.
86. Donna J. Haraway, “Situated Knowledges: The Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial Perspective,” in Haraway, Simians, Cyborgs, and Women: The Reinvention of Nature (New York: Routledge, 1991), 193.
87. Haraway, “Situated Knowledges,” 190.
88. Haraway, “Situated Knowledges,” 190–91.
89. Chela Sandoval, Methodology of the Oppressed (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2000), 171.
90. Sandoval, Methodology of the Oppressed, 175.
91. Cárdenas developed the concept of a “science of the oppressed” as part of collective work with the Electronic Disturbance Theatre. See Leonia Tanczer, “Hacking the Label: Hacktivism, Race, and Gender,” Ada: A Journal of Gender, New Media, and Technology, no. 6 (2015): http://adanewmedia.org/2015/01/issue6-tanczer/. The origin of the term “science of the oppressed,” in a very different context from trans of color thought, is actually Monique Wittig’s Marxist framework in “One Is Not Born a Woman,” in Carole R. McCann and Seung-Kyung Kim, eds., Feminist Local and Global Theory Perspective Reader, 3rd ed. (New York: Routledge, 2013), 250. Cárdenas importantly grounds any science of the oppressed in situated practices of knowledge that address contemporary institutions of racist and anti-trans violence, like algorithmic surveillance or everyday street violence. See micha cárdenas, “Trans of Color Poetics: Stitching Bodies, Concepts, and Algorithms,” The Scholar & Feminist Online 13, no. 3 (2016), http://sfonline.barnard.edu/traversing-technologies/micha-cardenas-trans-of-color-poetics-stitching-bodies-concepts-and-algorithms/; and cárdenas, “Pregnancy: Reproductive Futures in Trans of Color Feminism,” Transgender Studies Quarterly 3, no. 1–2 (2016): 48–57.
92. Susan Stryker, “De(Subjugated) Knowledges: An Introduction to Transgender Studies,” in The Transgender Studies Reader, ed. Susan Stryker and Stephen Whittle (New York: Routledge, 2006), 1–18.
93. For several outstanding examples of work that produces situated trans of color knowledges, see Silva and Ornat, “Transfeminism and Decolonial Thought”; Durban-Albrecht, “Postcolonial Disablement and/as Transition”; Dora Silva Santana, “Transitionings and Returnings: Experiments with the Poetics of Transatlantic Water,” Transgender Studies Quarterly 4, no. 2 (2017): 181–90; Kai M. Green and Treva Ellison, “Tranifest,” Transgender Studies Quarterly 1, no. 1–2 (2014): 222–25; Kay Gabriel, “Untranslating Gender in Trish Salah’s Lyric Sexology Vol. 1,” Transgender Studies Quarterly 3, no. 3–4 (2016): 524–44; Eliza Steinbock, “Catties and T-Selfies: On the ‘I’ and the ‘We’ in Trans-Animal Cute Aesthetics,” Angelaki: Journal of the Theoretical Humanities 22, no. 2 (2017): 159–78; and Giancarlo Cornejo, “For a Queer Pedagogy of Friendship,” Transgender Studies Quarterly 1, no. 3 (2014): 352–67. “Response-ability” is from Donna J. Haraway, Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2016), 2.
94. Fred Moten, “Blackness and Nothingness (Mysticism in the Flesh),” South Atlantic Quarterly 112, no. 4 (2013): 738.
95. Robert Reid-Pharr, Archives of Flesh: African America, Spain, and Post-humanist Critique (New York: New York University Press, 2016), 9. References hereafter in-text.
96. This call to recalibrate interpretive practices to learn from the lived breaches of humanism encoded in the flesh marks the distinction between Reid-Pharr’s posthumanist archival practice and the general “archival turn” that has marked many fields (10)—including transgender studies. Susan Stryker and Paisley Currah, for instance, remark that “perhaps it’s no coincidence that ‘transgender’ as a concept, as an organizing rubric of an emergent social movement, and as an incipient field of study rose to prominence at the same moment as the archival turn in the early 1990s and signaled similar premillennial and postmodern anxieties regarding the collapse of time and place as did the archival imaginary.” “General Editors’ Introduction,” Transgender Studies Quarterly 2, no. 4 (2015): 540.
97. See LaMonda Horton-Stallings’s call in Funk the Erotic: Transaesthetics and Black Sexual Cultures (Champaign: University of Illinois Press, 2015) for “the intellectual moments in cultural performances and narratives about sex, work, and blackness when black cultural producers’ imaginative knowledge challenges the way science and medicine have been the sole influence on what constitutes gender and sexuality” (23–24).
98. Snorton, Black on Both Sides, 57.
1. The Racial Plasticity of Gender and the Child
1. Henry Rubin, Self-Made Men: Identity and Embodiment among Transsexual Men (Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press, 2003), 35. While work on the era prior to a discourse on transsexuality is comparatively spare, it is notable, for instance, that neither Rubin nor Joanne Meyerowtiz, in How Sex Changed: A History of Transsexuality in the United States (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2004), points out the explicitly eugenic context of the leading endocrinologists of the era.
2. Claudia Castañeda, Figurations: Child, Bodies, Worlds (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2002).
3. Indeed, Jeanne Fahnestock claims that metaphor has dominated the study of rhetoric in science, perhaps to the point of granting it too much visibility compared to other figures of speech. See Rhetorical Figures in Science (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999), 4–6. Given the contemporary interest in matter and materiality in feminist, queer, and transgender studies, however, it is an opportune moment to reintroduce the problem of metaphor to the extent that it still incorporates language without deciding in its favor over matter, or vice versa. This chapter suggests that the gulf between the child as a figure and actual living children directs us toward a generative example of the function of metaphor in relation to the living world. For a classic study of metaphor in science, see Mary B. Hesse, Models and Analogies in Science (South Bend, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press, 1966). Hesse relies in particular on the interaction model of metaphor developed by Max Black in Models and Metaphors: Studies in Language and Philosophy (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1976). Differing conceptions of what counts as metaphor lead into a complex and extended conversation in feminist science studies, beyond the scope of this chapter, over the relation of the experimental apparatus to the world, which is also a question of the relation of matter to meaning-making. In the idiom of Karen Barad’s work on “agential realism,” metaphor could be read as one mode of making an agential cut into the real, rather than an external contaminant from human language. See Meeting the Universe Halfway: Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of Matter and Meaning (Durham, N.C: Duke University Press, 2007). I follow Donna Haraway’s vocabulary for the relation of the natural to the cultural more closely than Barad’s in this chapter.
4. For a thorough overview in the case of biology, see Robert J. Richards, The Romantic Conception of Life: Science and Philosophy in the Age of Goethe (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2002).
5. Gillian Beer, Darwin’s Plots: Evolutionary Narrative in Darwin, George Elliot, and Nineteenth-Century Fiction (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000), xxv. Feminist readings of Darwin, notably by Liz Grosz, have evidenced as much. See Becoming Undone: Darwinian Reflections on Life, Politics, and Art (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2011).
6. Donna J. Haraway, Crystals, Fabrics, and Fields: Metaphors that Shape Embryos (Berkeley, Calif.: North Atlantic Books, 2004). Subsequent references will be made in-text.
7. Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996); Hesse, Models and Analogies in Science.
8. See Ernest Starling, The Croonian Lectures on the Chemical Correlation of the Functions of the Body (London: Royal College of Physicians, 1905).
9. That being said, there have been many failed attempts to isolate plasticity in the living organism as a physical or quasi-physical object, running the spectrum from mechanist, to vitalist, to organicist paradigms. One interesting case is “protoplasm,” that enigmatic would-be engine of cell division (and, in that sense, the sort of indeterminacy at the heart of a certain version of the life principle), which was of great interest to biologists at the opening of the twentieth century, in particular. For one prominent reflection from that period, see William Bateson, Problems of Genetics (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1913), 41. To be clear, this early twentieth-century sense of protoplasm as the material or chemical home of an objective plasticity is rather different from its very specific contemporary meaning in biology as the granular fluid within cell walls.
10. On impressibility and nineteenth-century science, see Kyla Schuller, The Biopolitics of Feeling: Race, Sex, and Science in the Nineteenth Century (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2017).
11. On the emergence of the organismic model in the life sciences, see Haraway, Crystals, Fabrics, and Fields.
12. See C. Barker Jørgensen, John Hunter, A. A. Berthold, and the Origins of Endocrinology (Odense: Odense University Press, 1971). This model of experiment was also based in the informal observations of livestock farmers for centuries.
13. Arnold Adolph Berthold, “The Transplantation of the Testes,” trans. D. P. Quiring, Bulletin of the History of Medicine 16 (1944): 400–401, emphasis in original.
14. Charles Darwin, The Variation of Plants and Animals under Domestication (New York: Appleton, 1896), 26.
15. Darwin’s endorsement was cited as justification of bisexuality’s naturalness and sex’s plasticity in a range of popular and specialist American scientific periodicals in the late nineteenth century. For a few examples, see C. M. Hollingsworth, “The Theory of Sex and Sexual Genesis,” American Naturalist 28 (1884): 673–74; Colin A. Scott, “Sex and Art,” American Journal of Psychology 7, no. 2 (1896): 160; and Thomas A. Reed, The Sex Cycle of the Germ Plasm: Its Relation to Sex Determination (Whitefish, Mont.: Kessinger, 2009 ), 18.
16. Starling, Croonian Lectures. Across the last several of these lectures in particular, Starling lays out this vision of the endocrine system (which, it should be noted, probably overemphasizes the role of sex).
17. William Bayliss and Ernest Starling, “The Mechanism of Pancreatic Secretion,” Journal of Physiology 18, no. 5 (1902): 331.
18. Bayliss and Starling, “The Mechanism of Pancreatic Secretion,” 339.
19. Starling, The Croonian Lectures, 4. Subsequent references will be made in-text.
20. Ernest Starling, “Hormones,” Nature 112 (1923): 795.
21. Starling, “Hormones,” emphasis added.
22. E. Newton Harvey, “Some Physical Properties of Protoplasm,” Journal of Applied Physics 9 (1938): 68.
23. “Protoplasm,” New Standard Encyclopedia, vol. 9 (New York: University Society, 1907), no page number; Julius Von Sachs, History of Botany (1530–1860), trans. Henry E. F. Garnsey (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1890), 327–30.
24. Hans Driesch, “The Potency of the First Two Cleavage Cells in Echinoderm Development: Experimental Production of Partial and Double Formations,” in Foundations of Experimental Embryology, ed. Benjamin H. Willer and Jane M. Oppenheimer (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 1964), 39.
25. Ross Granville Harrison, “Observations on the Living Development of Nerve Fiber,” Anatomical Record 1 (1907): 118.
26. See Jane Maienschein, “The Origins of Entwicklungsmechanik,” in A Conceptual History of Endocrinology, ed. Gilbert F. Scott (New York: Springer, 1991), 43–61.
27. The child study movement was, of course, much broader in scope and reach than just Hall’s work, but I focus on him in this chapter for clarity and for his representative thinking. For an introduction to its broader scientific foundations, see Alice Boardman Smutts, Science in the Service of Children, 1893–1935 (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2006).
28. G. Stanley Hall, Adolescence: Its Psychology and Its Relations to Physiology, Anthropology, Sociology, Sex, Crime, Religion, and Education (New York: D. Appleton, 1904), xiii. Subsequent references to this book will be made in-text. See also: “Development is less gradual and more salutatory, suggestive of some ancient period of storm and stress when old moorings were broken and a higher level attained. The annual rate of growth in height, weight, and strength is increased and often doubled, and even more. Important functions previously non-existent arise. Growth of parts and organs loses its former proportions, some permanently and some for a season. Some of these are still growing in old age and others are soon arrested and atrophy” (xiii).
29. For example: “Thus we must conceive growth as due to an impulse which, despite its marvelous predeterminations, is exceedingly plastic to external influences, a few of which can be demonstrated and more have to be assumed” (33, emphasis added). Growth is not genetically programmed, nor is plasticity’s action representable as such. He then cites an embryo cleavage study similar to Driesch’s as evidence (34).
30. See also: “This seems to be nature’s provision to expand in all directions its possibilities of the body and soul in this plastic period when without the occasional excess powers would atrophy or suffer arrest for want of use, or larger possibilities would not be realized without this regimen peculiar to nascent periods” (216).
31. Rhythm and periodicity are among his preferred concepts: “There is much to suggest that early adolescence develops in the direction of spurty rather than that of sustained effort, or that the latter comes later. The known changes in circulation, the conjectured modification of the nervous centers, phyletic analogy with the longer than diurnal rhythms of work and rest elsewhere discussed, and common observations as well as the general concept of plasticity to be shaped by culminative stresses that break out new ways across old ones—all these suggest this temporary primacy of erethic over plodding increment” (150, emphasis added).
32. As Hall puts it: “The genital tubercle from which the male glans is grown can be seen by the tenth week. Minot finds that the male and female organs have seven parts in common, while there are thirteen homologies which are slowly differentiated as the embryo becomes fully sexed” (413).
33. Hall also recodes “hermaphrodites” in this developmental schema, rather than continuing to categorize them as monstrous creations of nature, different in kind from the rest of the species. In cases of hermaphroditism, he explains, “sexual differentiation which ought to take place in embryonic life has been incomplete . . . we now know that the embryological truth of Plato’s myth of the bifurcation of an originally bisexual man was a periphrastic adumbration” (413–14, emphasis added). This conversion of hermaphroditism into a developmental sense of intersex is taken up in further detail in chapters 2 and 3.
34. Eugen Steinach, Sex and Life: Forty Years of Biological and Medical Experiments, trans. Josef Loebel (New York: Viking Press, 1940), 1. Hereafter cited in-text.
35. D. Schultheiss, J. Denil, and U. Jonas, “Rejuvenation in the Early 20th Century,”Andrologia 29 (1997): 351–55.
36. Eugen Steinach and Paul Kammerer, “Klima und Mannbarkeit,” Archive fuer Entwicklungsmechanik 46, no. 2–3 (1920): 391–458.
37. As the original paper has not been translated into English and I do not read German, I am relying here on Cheryl A. Logan’s excellent account and analysis, Hormones, Heredity, and Race: Spectacular Failure in Interwar Failure (New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 2013), 65–73.
38. See, for instance, Paul Kammerer, The Inheritance of Acquired Characteristics, trans. A. Paul Maeker-Brandon (New York: Koni and Liveright, 1924): “Theoretically, as well as practically, the changeability of living beings is unlimited” (249). For a broader background, see Logan, Hormones, Heredity, and Race, 148.
39. Luther Burbank, The Training of the Human Plant (New York: Century Co., 1907), 4–5. Hereafter cited in-text.
40. George W. Corner, “Oscar Riddle, 1877–1968, a Biographical Memoir” (Washington, D.C.: National Academy of Sciences, 1974), 435–36.
41. Corner, “Oscar Riddle, 1877–1968,” 431, 434.
42. Corner, “Oscar Riddle, 1877–1968,” 442.
43. Oscar Riddle, “A Case of Complete Sex-Reversal in the Adult Pigeon,” American Naturalist 58, no. 655 (1924): 180.
44. Riddle, “A Case of Complete Sex-Reversal,” 170.
45. Allen Ezra, “Sex Reversal and the Barrier of Sexuality,” Journal of the American Institute of Homeopathy 25 (1932): 921.
46. Ezra, “Sex Reversal and the Barrier of Sexuality,” 908, emphasis added.
47. Ezra, “Sex Reversal and the Barrier of Sexuality,” 908.
48. See Alexandra Stern, Eugenic Nation: Faults and Frontiers of Better Breeding in Modern America (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005); and Gabriel N. Rosenberg, The 4-H Harvest: Sexuality and the State in Rural America (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015).
49. Carolyn Steedman, Strange Dislocations: Childhood and the Idea of Human Interiority, 1780–1930 (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1995), 170, emphasis added.
50. Steedman, Strange Dislocations, emphasis in original.
51. Steedman, Strange Dislocations, 76.
52. See Jayna Brown, “Being Cellular: Race, the Inhuman, and the Plasticity of Life,” GLQ 21, 2–3 (2015): 321–41.
53. Steedman, Strange Dislocations, 172.