In this article, I investigate the ways in which Transfeminism and Trans Women can be more integrated and entangled within feminist disability studies and Disability Justice, and vice versa. This would make the field a seemingly rich arena for considering the linkages between Trans Women, Transfeminism, dis/ability, and feminism. Yet, the primary texts of the feminist disability studies consistently leave out Trans Women in their analyses. Specific inclusion and highlighting the experiences of Trans Women, especially Trans Women who are disabled, is often missing from disability rights and disability justice projects. This is especially alarming given the way Trans folks, particularly Trans Women, have been medically and socially constructed as “disabled” or existing in proximity to disability. Instead of nitpicking the gaps in which Trans Women and Transfeminism have been excluded from conversations about disability, I want to turn towards how Transfeminism and the histories of ableism towards disabled peoples and Trans Women can be entangled with one another. I divide the paper into three main sections: Disability Studies and Activism and Trans Women, the Monster and the Freak, and Potential Entanglements. The first section addresses what engagements Trans Studies and Disability Studies have had with one another, as well as how that has played out in terms of Trans Activism and Disability Rights and Disability Justice. The second section looks at the histories and discourses in the ways in which Trans and disabled peoples have been constructed as the “monster” and the “freak” via freak shows of the nineteenth century, media reporting, and TERF (Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist) rhetoric. The third section builds on the entanglements suggested previously and reads the activisms of STAR, Marsha P Johnson, and Sylvia Rivera in a genealogy of Disability Justice principles, via the work of Sin’s Invalid.
Timmons, Niamh. 2020. "Towards a Trans Feminist Disability Studies." Journal of Feminist Scholarship 17 (Fall): 46-63. 10.23860/jfs.2020.17.04.
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