miércoles, 2 de noviembre de 2016

"Trans: Gender and Race in an Age of Unsettled Identities" - Rogers Brubaker

Trans: Gender and Race in an Age of Unsettled IdentitiesTrans: Gender and Race in an Age of Unsettled Identities by Rogers Brubaker
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The transgender issue has became a topic for the political debate in the last couple of years. The general acceptance in western societies of the diversity of sexual orientations has opened the door to the debate on gender identity. However, there is still a need for essays and articles describing the complexity of trans identities. Below the surface of well known cases of gender transition, as the case of Cathlyn Jenner, there are a whole category of different gender identities that fall outside the binary system male-female.

The book ¨Trans¨ is a good introduction to the transgender topic. First of all, it gives a good classification of the different trans identities based on the attitude of trans people towards the binary gender system. Not all trans people face the definition of its gender identity in the same manner. Some of them accept the binary system and they feel as migrants from one gender to the opposite one (trans of migration). Others are reluctant to be classified and they float with ambiguity between male and female identity (trans of between). A last group resist to the binary system and aim to overcome it (trans of beyond).

But ¨Trans¨ goes beyond being a book about the transgender issue. The author aims to treat trans as a tool to think with and not only as a thing to think about. In order to achieve the goal the exploration of transgender identities is done in paralel with the (less known) transracial issue. Although the reader may be shocked at first with this approach, the book shows the similarities of the concepts that could be applied to both phenomenos and how sometimes our prejudices work as a barrier to understand identity issues.

A book that deserves a read, although perhaps the last chapter of conclusions could be shorter and leave more space to the reader to build its own ideas on the issue.

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