Tey Meadow. 2017. “Whose Chosenness Counts? The Always-Already Racialized Discourse of Trans*” Ethnic and Racial Studies, 40(8): 1306-1311.
The Jenner/Dolezal moment, while it appears to provide a neat comparative experiment in gender and racial classifications, is itself the artefact of an invisible, already racialized gender system. If we take this question at the heart of Rogers Brubaker’s provocative new book on its own terms, we find, like Brubaker, that very different rules, and indeed, different institutional architectures, govern the two categorical systems. Closer inspection reveals the ways claims to gender legitimacy are always strained through the mesh of racial legitimacy. What is more, the social forces at work in trans “recognition” politics may underwrite some of the most pernicious forms of racialized violence in the contemporary United States.