Photo by Daria Shevtsova from Pexels

Among the multitude of pleasures and horrors latent in the human body, one of its more compelling aspects is its metaphorical quality. Metaphor, as we know, is that literary device in which one thing is made to resemble another, thus revealing surprising qualities of either of the two parties in the device. In this way thou art more lovely than a Summer’s day or, perhaps, colder than a witch’s tit. In this way all the world is a stage, a blue marble, a vampire. If Murakami is to be believed, the world itself is a metaphor.

Yes, we are probably…

Image courtesy of The Gender Spectrum Collection

Author’s note: this letter was originally written on December 18, 2019, fresh off a WMUK news story indicating that KPS would be pulling LGBTQ+-themed material from classrooms due to parent complaints. A school board meeting on December 19 indicated that this story and the initial communication from KPS were not quite accurate, and that the school system remains committed to its LGBTQ+ students. As such, my letter addresses some points that may no longer be issues. However, I still feel compelled to publish it in its original format, if for no other reason than to demonstrate the terrible harm that…

Keep Dreaming: Or, The Complicated Trans Aesthetics of Supergirl

Melissa Benoist as Kara Danvers and Nicole Maines as Nia Nal, in Dreamer costume

Premiering in late 2015, CW’s Supergirl is a television show that is perhaps more than others poised perfectly upon the American cultural fault line that was the 2016 presidential election. I don’t want to belabor this point too much, but it’s not difficult to see the ways that early Supergirl was a product of a tragically optimistic, white-feminist-oriented mindset that took for granted Hillary Clinton’s eventual inauguration and a subsequent continuation of American life as it existed under the Obama administration. Melissa Benoist plays the charming, bubbly Kara Danvers who moonlights…

Rorschach Test — Psychodiagnostic Plate IX

Yesterday, writer E.J. Levy announced on Twitter that her novel about 19th-century Irish physician and transgender man James Barry was purchased by Little Brown and Co.

Troublingly, Levy referred to Barry throughout the thread as “she” and “her,” a “heroine” who shirked gender policing and lived life as a gender non-conforming woman. The reality, of course, is that Barry lived life as a man, desired to be addressed by he/him pronouns, and resisted attempts to discover his assigned sex posthumously — a resistance ultimately thwarted by a charwoman seeking payment for her services.

Trans folks and those interested in…

Julia Ftacek

PhD student of 18th-Century British literature: queer, trans, and gender non-conforming people. Queer rights, feminism, video games, books.

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