Transgender History: The Roots of Today’s Revolution is a more compelling title than US Transgender History 101. Susan Stryker, a transsexual woman and an associate professor of gender and women’s studies at the University of Arizona, packs a lesson plan into an engaging paperback edition. Like any good teacher, she begins with terminology and concepts to prevent misunderstandings between her and the students (or, in this case, readers). She then moves onto the United States transgender history, beginning in the 1850s and continuing to today. Like a textbook, short bios and other info sections break up the narrative and make the reading a more engaging primer on the notable figures in the quest for trans rights. In the back, there are sources and a list of recommended further reading for those who want to dive deeper into a particular subject.
Overcoming discrimination has been a difficult battle, one that still raging today. Americans like to imagine growth as continual, but any point in time can be a fulcrum that teeters the other direction. This newly revised version discusses current events up to the Trump administration and the ascendency of the alt-right, which both threaten the progress toward equality.
“If there is a lesson to be learned from US transgender history at the dispiriting moment in which these words are being written, it is that trans people have a long record of survival in a world that is often hostile to us” (231).
This timely and relevant book should be required reading for university freshman.
[signoff predefined=”Social Media Reminder” icon=”facebook”][/signoff]