Trans Bodies, Trans Selves - Call for Contributions

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Project Overview

Trans Bodies, Trans Selves is a resource guide for the transgender population, covering health, legal issues, cultural and social questions, history, theory, and more. It is a place for transgender and gender-questioning people, their partners and families, students, professors, guidance counselors, and others to look for up-to-date information on transgender life. Each chapter will be written by a separate transgender or genderqueer author, but to provide consistency of layout, message and tone, authors will be given guidelines and will work closely with the editor. The book will be aimed at a general transgender and gender-questioning audience, and when using complicated language, will provide definitions and explanations.

The tone will be friendly and fun, and will promote trans-positive, feminist and genderqueer advocacy. Included in each section will be anonymous quotes from everyday transgender people, who will be interviewed and also surveyed electronically, so that their voices are heard throughout. Short opinion pieces and testimonials (1-2 pages long) will also be included in each chapter.  Finally, each chapter will contain references to resources such as books, movies, and organizations related to the chapter’s topic.

CHAPTER TOPICS:

Understanding & Defining Ourselves

Coming Out

Living as Ourselves

Our Communities

Relationships

Sexuality

Health

Legal Issues

Children & Adolescents

History

Popular Culture & Media

Gender Theory

Feminism & Queer Theory

Action & Organizing

Understanding & Defining Ourselves – This chapter is an introduction to the many terms and definitions surrounding transgender identities. It is an exploration of our ways of understanding ourselves and our many stories. What is the incidence/prevalence of transgenderism? What are the ways in which different members of our community identify? How do we decide when or if we want to change our bodies and what we would like the outcomes to be?
         
Coming Out – This chapter explores how we come to terms with our identities. How do we decide that we are transgender, genderqueer or otherwise gender-variant? How is coming out as transgender different from coming out as gay or lesbian? How do we explain how we feel to important people in our lives? How do we learn to acknowledge potential losses or friends, family, jobs, etc? How do we choose whether and how to come out as transgender on a daily basis, in everyday life?

Living as Ourselves  - This chapter goes into detail about the logistics of transitioning and living in our chosen genders. It outlines picking a name, changing pronouns, adjusting your appearance through voice training, dress, and other techniques. What are social interactions like in a new gender? (Ex. One-gender social circles, bathrooms, sports, workplaces) How do we keep ourselves safe from physical and emotional abuse as we transition? What is life like post-transition? What is it like to live in a “grey zone” between genders, either by choice or not?

Our Communities – This chapter will likely require two to three authors.  It will explore the ways that we can find support groups and communities where we fit in. What resources, cultural traditions, and challenges are there for the many communities within the transgender community? Examples: Genderqueer/androgenous, different racial and ethnic groups, disabled, elderly, intersex, religious/spiritual, lower income, rural/urban, performance/drag, military/veterans, queer/gay/lesbian, and crossdressers. This chapter will also highlight the way gender and transgender issues are approached in some other countries outside the United States, although this section will necessarily not be comprehensive.
 
Relationships – This chapter examines our relationships with our partners and children. It discusses transitioning within a relationship, how to form new relationships after transition, and provides resources for partners. It also provides guidance on how to come out to our children and maintain positive relationships with them, in addition to resources for children themselves.
 
Sexuality – This chapter has an author. While this chapter does not require additional authors, comments and suggestions are greatly appreciated. Short opinion pieces and testimonials relating to this topic are also being collected. Please click on the “Join Us” tab at the top of this page for more information.
 
Health – This chapter has an author. While this chapter does not require additional authors, comments and suggestions are greatly appreciated. Short opinion pieces and testimonials relating to this topic are also being collected. Please click on the “Join Us” tab at the top of this page for more information.
 
Legal Issues – Transgender people come into contact with the legal system in a number of ways, and issues pertaining to trans people and the law will be the focus of this chapter. Some of these issues include name and sex change, marriage, child custody, employment, immigration, violence, and incarceration.
 
Children & Adolescents – This chapter will tackle the unique challenges for transgender children and adolescents, and provide resources for parents as well as adolescents themselves. It will discuss what we know about childhood gender development, gender-based cultural expectations for children,  identifying gender-variant children, different family approaches to childhood gender variance, how to find a therapist or physician, adult gender identification of gender variant children, and hormonal treatment when applicable. The chapter will also explore the unique challenges for high school and college students.
 
History – This chapter will discuss the roles of gender-variant people through ancient and modern time, exploring questions around how to view historical figures who did not identify with the relatively new terms transsexual and transgender. It will cover the first uses of these terms, the important figures in modern transgender history, and how we have come to understand transgender identity in our culture today. It will also explain the Foucauldian concepts around identity creation and investigate the history of transgender relationships with the feminist and LGBT communities.
 
Popular Culture & Media – This chapter has an author. While this chapter does not require additional authors, comments and suggestions are greatly appreciated. Short opinion pieces and testimonials relating to this topic are also being collected. Please click on the “Join Us” tab at the top of this page for more information.
 
Gender Theory – This chapter will explore theories of gender identity formation, including gender roles and the construction of gender, performance of gender, childhood gender development, the legacy of psychoanalysis, and current scientific theories of gender identity based on genetics studies, birth order, twin studies, neurological studies, and data from the cases of intersex individuals.
 
Feminism & Queer Theory – This chapter will tackle the history of feminism and feminist theory and how these relate to gender identity. It will describe forms of discrimination against transgender people, including transphobia, homophobia, and misogyny. It will explain the basics of queer theory, the history of queer studies, use of the word “queer,” and how transgender authors have interacted with queer theory. Finally, it will explore trans-academia and provide information on being a transgender academic as well as transgender  studies within women and gender studies departments.
 
Action & Organizing – This chapter will delve into the history of action and organizing within the transgender community, from Stonewall and the Compton Cafeteria riots to GID reform. The chapter will make connections between social oppression and institutionalized oppression through housing, employment, and judicial discrimination. It will explore questions about passing versus visibility, and the use of identity politics in political work. It will provide resources to get involved with local and national organizing.

Submission Details

Submissions for consideration as a chapter author should include the following:

1) A detailed outline of the proposed chapter, with an estimate of the page length (400 words/page).

2) A list of questions pertaining to your topic that should be included in interviews or an electronic survey of transgender individuals. This survey will be distributed by the editor and the answers to these questions will be used as quotes within your chapter.

3) A description of your experience in this field and why you would be the right person to author this chapter. Please include a CV.

4) A writing sample appropriate for a similar audience to this book. (Your sample does not need to be written for a transgender audience. However, the tone should be friendly and it should be written at a level comprehensible to a high school student or beyond, explaining any complicated language that is used. If you do not have a sample of this type, you can alternatively write the first few pages of your proposed chapter.)

Please direct all submissions to: transbodies at gmail.com. (The @ symbol has been removed in order to avoid spam through this website. Please replace it when sending in your submission.)

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