A Short History of Trans Misogyny

A Short History of Trans Misogyny

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Why are trans women the most targeted of LGBT people? Why are they in the crosshairs of a resurgent anti-trans politics around the world? And what is to be done about it by activists, organizers, and allies?

A Short History of Transmisogyny is the first book-length study to answer these urgent but long overdue questions. Combining new historical analysis with political and activist accessibility, the book shows why it matters to understand trans misogyny as a specific form of violence with a documentable history. Ironically, it is through attending to the specificity of trans misogyny that trans women are no longer treated as inevitably tragic figures. They emerge instead as embattled but tenacious, locked in a struggle over the meaning and material stakes of gender, labor, race, and freedom.

The book travels across bustling port cities like New York, New Orleans, London and Paris, the colonial and military districts of the British Raj, the Philippines, and Hawai'i, and the lively travesti communities of Latin America. The book shows how trans femininity has become legible as a fault line of broader global histories, including colonial government, the sex work industry, the policing of urban public space, and the line between the formal and informal economy. This transnational and intersectional approach reinforces that trans women are not isolated social subjects who appear alone; they are in fact central to the modern social world.


  • a tour de force...tracing little-noticed pathways from the past toward convergences that increasingly take center stage in the next field. An elegant combination of sophisticated theorization with equally sophisticated attention to archival and historical materials, this is one of the best books in trans studies in recent years.

    Susan Stryker, author of Transgender History
  • Gill-Peterson’s first book entered the scene this October to an expectant audience as Amazon and Barns & Noble both struggled to fulfill all their preorders.

    Women's Studies
  • Histories of the Transgender Child is the first thorough investigation of its kind, and Gill-Peterson’s fierce commitment to trans children produces an unparalleled look into the intimate and often devastating narratives recorded by a medical archive that will never fulfill our critical desires to rescue contradictory subjects from effacement

    GLQ: a journal of lesbian and gay studies