Thursday, May 5, 2016

The Antioch Review Publishes Transphobic Article; Here's What Happens Next

So this has been a big story on my social media feed today. For those not in the know, here is a summary of what happened:

1) The academic literary magazine The Antioch Review recently published an article called "The Sacred Androgen: The Transgender Debate," by Daniel Harris.

2) Trans people found it to be highly transphobic for a plethora of reasons, which are smartly and succinctly explained in this open letter signed by hundreds of Writers, Editors, and Librarians.  [note added 5-6-16: I originally attributed this open letter to The Seattle Review of Books, but it turns out they were merely boosting the signal]

3) Antioch College (who publishes the journal) released a statement that, while not condoning the article and its sentiments, nevertheless expressed that they "have confidence in the Review’s editor and editorial process."

This is the story so far. But as a longtime trans activist, I'm pretty sure that I know where this is all eventually heading. So here are my predictions, in no particular order:

Moving Beyond the Cisgender Actor/Transgender Character Meme

Earlier this week I published a new piece on Medium entitled Expanding Trans Media Representation: Why Transgender Actors Should Be Cast in Cisgender Roles.

In it, I share my thoughts on how we might broaden discussions of trans representation in the media beyond the now commonplace critiques regarding who is cast to play transgender roles (in those rare instances when a movie or TV show even bothers to include a trans character).

If you like the piece, be sure to recommend it (by clicking the "heart" logo at bottom left) - the more recommends it gets, the more likely it will appear in other Medium readers' feeds. Hope you enjoy!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Excerpt from Whipping Girl Second Edition

As some of you may have heard, the Second Edition of my first book, Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity, was released last month! It is essentially the same book, but with a new cover (as you can see to your right), some wonderful new back cover blurbs (which you can read here), plus a new additional Preface to the Second Edition.

In the new Preface, I discuss some of the history (both personal, as well as within feminist, queer, and transgender activism) that led to me writing the book, and addressing the topics and subject matter in the manner that I did. I also share many of my thoughts about what has happened in the decade since the book was originally released in 2007: the many promising developments in trans awareness and activism, plus the countless aspects and areas where there is still vital need for improvement.

While I cannot reprint the entire Preface here, I did want to share this brief excerpt (specifically, the first three chapters) for those who may be interested:

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Touring with Sister Spit!

Hey folks, starting tomorrow (aka, Friday) I will be on tour with the legendary spoken word troupe Sister Spit! Other artists include Jezebel Delilah, Juliana Delgado Lopera, Nikki Darling, Cassie J. Sneider, Maisha Z. Johnson, Cassie J. Sneider, and Virgie Tovar, plus occasional special guests!

Here are all the dates - links take you to Facebook invites for the show (please share!), which will have all the details:


  • March 25 -- at Salt Lick Collective, Oakland, CA, 7pm.
  • March 26 -- at SF Oasis, San Francisco, CA, 6:30pm.
  • March 27 -- at Peeves Public House, Fresno, CA, 6pm.
  • March 28 -- at Last Projects, in Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA, 7pm.
  • March 29 -- at UC Riverside, panel 1-3pm, show 7-9pm.
  • March 30 -- at Art Theatre Long Beach, Long Beach, CA, 7pm.
  • March 31 -- at Weird Sister in Los Angeles, CA, 6pm.


  • Unless/until they sell out, there will be copies of Whipping Girl 2nd edition for sale at the shows. Plus, I will also be reading from some of my new fiction project at many of the shows. Hope to see you there!

    Monday, March 7, 2016

    Whipping Girl Second Edition is out this week!

    The second edition of my first book, Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity, is officially released this week (March 8th, to be precise).

    A wonderful article about the second edition, plus many readers' personal experiences first engaging with the book, appeared in BuzzFeed this weekend.

    While it's pretty much the same book on the inside (with a few small clarifying changes), it has a brand new Preface that discusses how the book originally came to be, plus my thoughts on various new developments in transgender communities and politics since the book was first released in 2007.

    The book launch event takes place this Thursday (March 10th) in San Francisco, at the GLBT History Museum, 7pm- I will be reading from the new Preface, plus engaging in further discussion and Q&A about the book and its themes, plus the recent evolution of trans activism more generally. (More details here and here.)

    The book is available now from Amazon, Portland's independent bookstore Powell's, the Philly-based LGBTQ bookstore Giovanni’s Room, and the Chicago feminist bookstore Women and Children First. You can also use Indie Bound to find brick-and-mortar independent bookstores near you that are or will be carrying the book.

    Here are some of the new blurbs from the back cover:

    Thursday, February 25, 2016

    Julia update: Whipping Girl 2nd edition, Sister Spit 2016, future releases, and more!

    So yesterday I sent out my latest email update. In it, I discuss:

    1) Whipping Girl 2nd edition is here!
    2) March 2016 tour dates (including Sister Spit)!
    3) new writings and web updates!
    4) two brand new books coming later this year!

    You can read the update in all its glory here.

    If you want future Julia updates emailed directly to you, please sign up for my email list.

    enjoy! -j.

    Tuesday, February 9, 2016

    placing Ken Zucker's clinic in historical context

    So an article by Jesse Singal called "How the Fight Over Transgender Kids Got a Leading Sex Researcher Fired" recently appeared on NY Mag. I was interviewed for it, but none of what I said was included in the final piece. This is perfectly fine, of course - no one is obligated to use my quotes in their article. But I did feel that the most important point that I stressed (i.e., placing the current Zucker clinic debate in the historical context of the long history of gender reparative therapies) was not duly acknowledged in Singal's article.

    Given this omission, I thought that it might be useful for me to share my responses to Jesse's interview questions below. I have removed Singal's actual questions (since I did not ask for permission to use them). But I did paraphrase them to give readers an idea of what I was responding to.