WGS & GenSex Seminar Series: Elijah Edelman

12:00 pm on Friday, November 1, 2019
1:00 pm on Friday, November 1, 2019
Contact Name:
Gabrielle Newton
The acronym ‘LGBT’ (Lesbian, Gay Bisexual, Transgender) is often used to denote a cohesion of identities or needs across various sexual and gendered ‘minorities.’ As a result, all material, social, or ideological differences across subjectivities, desires, and practices are collapsed into a single ‘community.’ Yet, as evidenced within the discipline of trans studies, there exists a deep structural disconnect between and among trans lives and mainstream LGBT social and political frameworks. However, this talk emphasizes and calls for a focus on rethinking—and decolonizing—the purpose and outcomes of trans studies towards dynamic models of ‘trans coalitional research.’ The decolonization of trans studies reflects a broader necessary shift towards disrupting normative expectations of trans identities and practices, along with that which is understood to constitute the ‘LGBT community.’ As argued here, trans coalitional research is not simply a refusal or disavowal of projects of normalization or the commodifiability of ‘trans rights.’ Rather, trans coalitional research requires a vigilance of violently homogenizing expectations upon the heterogeneity of lived experience. Ultimately, rearticulating trans studies towards a framework of trans coalitional research demands levels of accountability from those who produce research, provide services, trainings or programming on LGBT issues—or even trans specific practices—to those whose lives and bodies provide the matter from which they benefit.