Sunday, December 1, 2013

Julia update December, 2013 - Excluded excerpts, reviews, Portland & Seattle book readings, more!

So this morning I sent out my monthly(ish) email update, it has info about my Portland & Seattle book readings this week, links to interviews, reviews, excerpts from my new book Excluded: Making Feminist and Queer Movements More Inclusive, a World AIDS Day reading I am in, and more!

You can check out the update here:

If you want future julia updates emailed directly to you, you can sign up for my email list here:

enjoy! -j.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Why Myriad Double Standards?

This is one in a series of blog posts in which I discuss some of the concepts and terminology that I forward in my writings, including my new book Excluded: Making Feminist and Queer Movements More Inclusive

So in an earlier post, I discussed the concept of myriad double standards that I forward in Excluded. The idea is quite simple: Generally within feminism and queer activism, we have a fixed idea of the system that we are challenging—e.g., the patriarchy, heteronormativity, the gender binary, kyriarchy, and so on. Being fixed models, each of these acknowledges certain forms of sexism and marginalization while overlooking or dismissing others. The forms of sexism and marginalization that are ignored tend to become points of exclusion—for instance, if your concept of “patriarchy” does not include transphobia/cissexism, then your movement will exclude trans people; if your concept of “the gender binary” does not include biphobia/monosexism, then your movement will exclude bisexuals. And so on.

Monday, November 4, 2013

What is gender artifactualism?

This is the one in a series of blog posts in which I discuss some of the concepts and terminology that I forward in my writings, including my new book Excluded: Making Feminist and Queer Movements More Inclusive.

So in Excluded, I introduce the term “gender artifactualism” to describe, “the tendency to conceptualize and depict gender as being primarily or entirely a cultural artifact.”[p.117] Gender artifactualist viewpoints are pervasive within feminist and queer activism, and within the academic fields of Women’s/Gender Studies, Queer Theory, Sociology, certain subfields of Psychology, and in the Humanities more generally.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Why new words?

Over the next several months, I will be writing a series of blog posts that explain some of the less familiar terms that I either coined and/or otherwise forwarded in my writings, especially in Whipping Girl and my new book Excluded: Making Feministand Queer Movements More Inclusive

I am doing this for several reasons:

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

julia update - Excluded BOOK TOUR starts now, plus excerpts, reviews & interviews

note: this is my monthly email update for October, 2013 - to get these updates emailed directly to you, you can sign up for my email list here.

julia update october 2013

in this update:
1) Julia's Excluded book reading tour is afoot!
2) Excluded-related reviews and interviews
3) recent essays

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

In Defense of Partners

[note added January, 2017: This essay now appears as a chapter in my third book Outspoken: A Decade of Transgender Activism and Trans Feminism]

This last weekend, I finally got around to reading Janet Mock’s recent essay How Society Shames Men DatingTrans Women & How This Affects Our Lives (note: there is also an excellent interview that includes her and Laverne Cox on HuffPost Live discussing the same issue). Mock wrote the piece in response to the media coverage and public backlash against DJ Mister Cee (a cisgender male hip-hop artist and radio personality) for his attempt to solicit sex from someone who he thought was a trans woman. Mock’s piece rightfully points out how the public’s shaming of men who are attracted to trans women—e.g., by insulting their manhood, or presuming that they are closeted gay men—undermines our identities too, as the underlying assumption is that we must be “fake women” or “really men.”

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Considering Trans and Queer Appropriation

[note added November, 2016This essay now appears as a chapter in my third book Outspoken: A Decade of Transgender Activism and Trans Feminism]

Within the activist circles I run in, I routinely hear people accuse others of appropriation, or claim that certain behaviors or endeavors are appropriative. I myself have written about how certain people (e.g., cisgender academics and media producers) sometimes appropriate transgender identities and experiences (discussed more below). So I am certainly sympathetic to the concept.

At the same time, however, I have seen the concept of appropriation used (or misused) in order to undermine marginalized groups as well. For instance, cisgender feminists have long accused trans women of “appropriating female dress” or “appropriating women’s identities”—indeed, if you click the link you will see that this was part of the justification for why Sylvia Rivera was kicked off the stage at a 1973 Pride rally in New York City. On Cathy Brennan’s anti-trans-dyke website “Pretendbians” (which I refuse to link to), the byline at the top of the webpage says: “We don't hate you, we hate appropriation”—the implication being that trans women cannot ever be actual lesbians, but rather we can only appropriate lesbian identities and culture.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Julia Serano update - NEW BOOK release & tour dates!

So in the last few days, I've sent out news/invites to my new book release and tour to my email list and Twitter & Facebook accounts. For those who aren't "socially connected" to me in those ways, all the pertinent info is listed here. (and btw, if you want to join my email list, you can do so here.)

Julia's NEW BOOK release and tour!

So my second book is coming out:

Excluded: Making Feminist and Queer Movements More Inclusive
click the link to read excerpts and reviews about it!

It officially comes out October 1st, but a lot of stores (including online book sellers) have it in stock already!

I will be touring in support of Excluded - the following book readings are confirmed:

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Myriad Double Standards

So last week, my new book, Excluded: Making Feminist and Queer Movements More Inclusive, was reviewed in Publisher's Weekly - you can read the review here. It is generally positive and I am pretty happy with it! However, there is one line in the review that I feel misconstrues what I was trying to say in the book. Namely, the reviewer describes my supposed ‘denial of the existence of a “gender system”’ and how it ‘flies in the face of much social research.’

I could imagine that people who read that review without having read the whole book might presume that I am denying that gender norms, assumptions, stereotypes, etc., often work together in a coordinated way to legitimize certain people but not others. Or that I am denying that gender-based oppression is institutionalized and entrenched in our culture. I can assure you that I do not deny any of these things.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Two new articles about trans women in queer women's communities

So in the last two days, two articles have come out about how trans women are often excluded from, or made to feel unwelcome within, lesbian and queer women's communities.

The dyke-oriented magazine/website Velvetpark just published my piece "How to Be an Ally to Trans Women." It is an excerpt from my new book Excluded: Making Feminist and Queer Movements More Inclusive, which officially comes out October 1st, but may appear in stores as early as mid-September, so keep an eye out for it!

The other article appears in the Huffington Post, and is called "Are Queer Women Leaving Trans Women Behind?" Several trans women are interviewed in it, including myself.

Some much needed attention for an issue that is often overlooked or ignored... -j.

Monday, August 19, 2013

julia update August 2013 - new email list & NEW BOOK!

So lots of new stuff to report:

First, I have a brand new email list! If you sign up for it, you will receive monthly(ish) updates about all my upcoming performances and speaking events, newly released books, articles, music, and other projects. No spam, I promise.

To sign up, just click here!

Second, the big news: My NEW BOOK, Excluded: Making Feminist and Queer Movements More Inclusive, will be coming out this October!

Here is a short blurb for the book:

While feminist and queer/LGBTQIA+ movements are designed to challenge sexism, they often simultaneously police gender and sexuality—sometimes just as fiercely as the straight-male-centric mainstream does. Here, acclaimed feminist and queer activist Julia Serano chronicles this problem of exclusion within these movements. She advocates for a more holistic approach to fighting sexism that avoids these pitfalls, and offers new ways of thinking about gender, sexuality, and sexism that foster inclusivity rather than exclusivity.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Gender is different

Note added 12-18-13: The following piece was one that I hastily wrote and blog-published back in July. It was meant to critique a growing tendency among *some* trans people to reduce all experiences of gender and sexism down to a singular cis-versus-trans axis. As with cis feminists who view the world solely through a male-versus-female mindset, or cis gay men and lesbians who reduce everything down to a heterosexual-versus-homosexual mindset, such singular-axis views can (and often do) erase many people's experiences with marginalization. (I discuss this phenomenon at great length in Excluded.)

Friday, June 21, 2013

spread the word: Girl Talk 2013 less than a week away!

Be sure to buy tickets soon for Girl Talk's big 5th anniversary show, which takes place next Thursday, June 27th, in San Francisco!

As some of you know, Girl Talk is a (primarily) spoken word show that fosters dialogue about the many relationships (partners, lovers, friends, & allies) shared by queer trans women, queer cis women, and genderqueer folks (full description below). It is co-curated by myself, Gina de Vries and Elena Rose. This year's cast includes the three of us, plus Dominika Bednarska, DavEnd, Dr. Carol Queen, Jos Truitt, and Tara Hardy!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

julia update june 2013!

Hello, welcome to June, happy Pride month!

Speaking thereof, I will be participating in two Pride month events:

1) Thursday, June 27th will be Girl Talk's big 5 year anniversary show! For those unfamiliar with the show, it is an annual spoken word show (with some music and other art/performances) designed to foster dialogue about the many relationships (partners, lovers, friends, & allies) shared by queer trans women, queer cis women, and genderqueer folks.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Know anyone at Times Books, Henry Holt, and/or Macmillan?

OK, so I deleted the original post that used to reside here. It was a desperate attempt on my part to crowdsource contacting a publisher about a permissions request.

For those of you who have never attempted to contact a large publisher about using a brief excerpt of their work, it can be harrowing. Usually they have webforms asking for a ton of information, or an email address for you to submit your request to, but with no other way of contacting them in person (e.g., a phone number). It's a lot like applying for jobs, except that instead of getting employment, you get permission to use a quote.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

julia update april 2013

hello, here is a quick update regarding some upcoming presentations and performances that I will be doing:

Monday, March 18, 2013

upcoming Julia college/university appearances!

Hello! Here is a quickie message about some upcoming out of town presentations I will be doing over the next month:

Thursday, March 7, 2013


[A revamped version of this essay now appears as a chapter in my third book Outspoken: A Decade of Transgender Activism and Trans Feminism]

I’ve been meaning to post this for a while now, as an explanation and reference for what I’ve been calling FAAB-mentality (described below). I originally wrote and performed this piece for the fourth annual installment of Girl Talk: A Cis and Trans Woman Dialogue in March 2012.

Post-note 3-8-13: I added a few clarifying notes at the end of the piece. 

Baby Talk

I read blogs. And an unfortunate consequence of reading blogs is that sometimes you stumble upon statements that make you upset. Lately, I’ve been dwelling over one single sentence from a blog post that I read a few months ago. The author was a femme-identified cis woman who described her identity this way:

Monday, January 14, 2013

I'll be giving a presentation tomorrow (1-15-13) at Stanford Universiy

Hey folks, for those who are (relatively) local, I will be giving a presentation at Stanford University tomorrow (Jan. 15th)! It is a variant of my "Putting the Feminine Back into Feminism" talk, with some bonus spoken word. All the details can be found at this website, and are also pasted below...