There are only 1.330 indexed websites that include the word “tranimalities”, a Google search shows me. Most of those websites refer to the main subject of the fifth issue of Transgender Studies Quarterly (TSQ). Tranimalities is a rare word, perhaps a new one. What’s tranimalities?

TSQ is an American scientific journal that “offers a high-profile venue for innovative research and scholarship that contest the objectification, pathologization, and exoticization of transgender lives.” It’s the first publication of its kind, they claim. I discovered TSQ last year, when it first appeared, and I wrote a long article about it for a Portuguese newspaper. The most recent issue was out in May.

The general introduction of this TSQ issue, signed by the editors Susan Stryker and Paisley Currah, explains that tranimalities is the intersection between transgender studies and animal studies. It’s a queer position: reading reality from the point of view of sexual minorities and explaining how all things and beings without strong symbolic or social roles can be empowered through a deconstruction of patterns.

Let’s see what the editors have to say:

“The works in “Tranimalities” transversally connect transgender studies’ investigation of the refusal of full humanity to transgender people with animal studies’ critique of the non/human dichotomy, just as transversal connections between animal studies, ecofeminism, critical race studies, disability studies, and queer theory have already put pressure on other dimensions of the biopolitical hierarchizations of differently embodied and subjectivized living material beings.”

Trangender is becoming a mainstream issue. I usually say (and as a journalist I write it) that trangender is an umbrella term for all gender identity disruptive individuals: transsexuals, cross-dressers (transvestites), intersex and genderqueer people. It’s a disputed organization, but for me it makes sense.

Last May, The New York Times published an article about how transgender people are achieving visibility and recognition in the US. Entitled “The Quest for Transgender Equality” the article explains that:

Being transgender today remains unreasonably and unnecessarily hard. But it is far from hopeless. More Americans who have wrestled with gender identity are transitioning openly, propelling a civil rights movement that has struggled even as gays and lesbians have reached irreversible momentum in their fight for equality. Those coming out now are doing so with trepidation, realizing that while pockets of tolerance are expanding, discriminatory policies and hostile, uninformed attitudes remain widespread.

Susan Stryker commented on Facebook:

After having had skin in the game for a quarter-century, and having tried to do my part to address injustices against Trans people, feeling like it’s been one long tack against the wind, I’m completely gob-smacked at how rapidly public discourse on this topic has shifted in the past year–or even the past few weeks. Always happy to see the Compton’s Cafeteria Riot mentioned, in the NYT no less.

Susan Stryker is associate professor of gender and women’s studies and director of the Institute for LGBT Studies at the University of Arizona and general coeditor of TSQ. The other general coeditor is Paisley Currah, professor of political science and gender studies at Brooklyn College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

This new issue of TSQ states that “transgender subjects have never been fully human” and defends that “the human” is a “biopolitical tool for privileging a few so as to dehumanize the many.”

Bruno Horta

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