Juliet Jacques's memoir Trans is punctuated with references to music. From her induction into Manchester's post-punk scene as an undergraduate to her later experiences of the alternative scene in Brighton, Jacques’s participation in the UK independent music scene sets the tone for her memoir. It becomes the refrain to which the writer returns throughout her personal exploration of the debates that comprise transgender politics.
Jacques has compiled a soundtrack to her experiences as a writer who takes herself as subject. The result is, as described by the Guardian, "An honest, articulate account of one life so far".
Che Gossett is a black trans femme writer whose work draws out the connections between blackness, animality and abolition. Their writing forces us to re-examine power’s machinations, most famously in their cutting critique of Zizek on trans issues in the Los Angeles Review of Books.
We started to discuss all this in relation to gender several months ago. Much has changed during the time that we have been emailing. 36 people were killed in the fire at the Ghost Ship warehouse in Oakland, many of them queer and/or trans. Standing Rock Nation protesters fought against the planned 1,172-mile Dakota Access oil pipeline, which would poison the water they depend on. And Donald Trump won the US Presidential election on an openly fascist platform.
For these and many more reasons, the end of 2016 has felt apocalyptic. Yet this is perhaps not so much as a change, as a re-emergence of what was always already there. As the self-described ‘theory queen, para-academic, writer and trans-femme’ points out: “the white supremacist nation of America... is not broken – it was built this way.”
This interview is the first in an occasional series about gender and technology on the Verso blog, guest-edited by Ray Filar.
- Hackney Flashers, Who's still holding the baby?, 1978
They say it is love. We say it is unwaged work.
They call it frigidity. We call it absenteeism.
Every miscarriage is a work accident.
- a feminist pamphlet calling for Wages for Housework written by Silvia Federici in 1975.