Erotic images: towards new conceptualizations of trans sexualities

Davy, Zowie (2011) Erotic images: towards new conceptualizations of trans sexualities. In: Centre for Interdisciplinary Gender Studies Visiting Speaker Seminar Series, December 2011, University of Leeds.

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Official URL: http://www.gender-studies.leeds.ac.uk/about/events...

Abstract

The sexualisation of transgender is a thorny issue due to the negative undertones within sexological texts. After many years of being on the one hand, silenced about sexuality or on the other hyper-sexualized, for fear of being pigeon-holed as unworthy recipients of medical interventions by the medical teams providing healthcare, transsexual and transgender people have started to explore and produce their “sexual bodies” and represent them in novel ways through prose, poetry and pornographic film. The move to demonstrate a wider ‘spectra of desire’ (Stryker, 2006) and experiences of trans sexuality was announced to be politically important as a way of shifting stereotypical associations surrounding trans, gender and sexuality generally. Trans pornography and erotica are two sites that offer many semi-aurobiographical accounts of trans sexualities that often speak back to hetero and homo normative perspectives that are usually underpinned with medicalized narratives. I argue that in the words of Kate Bornstein (1994: 163), over a decade ago, that these cultural productions offer “irreverence for the established order” and incorporate the “often dizzying use of paradox.” Using textual data, I will illustrate that gender transitions (sporadic, permanent or undecided) are not solely about gender, as a core characteristic, and suggest that sexuality is part of trans subjectivity too. I will draw on the work of Bataille and Deleuze and Guattari to illustrate that trans sexualities should perhaps be theorized through trans bodily aesthetic affects that simultaneously engenders ‘becoming identities’ in the erotica. This conceptualization helps us move to more helpful descriptive analyses than identitarian (hetero/homo/bi) and sexological conceptualizations can offer us; and understand helps us understand trans sexualities as endless and rhizomatic.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Keynote)
Additional Information:The sexualisation of transgender is a thorny issue due to the negative undertones within sexological texts. After many years of being on the one hand, silenced about sexuality or on the other hyper-sexualized, for fear of being pigeon-holed as unworthy recipients of medical interventions by the medical teams providing healthcare, transsexual and transgender people have started to explore and produce their “sexual bodies” and represent them in novel ways through prose, poetry and pornographic film. The move to demonstrate a wider ‘spectra of desire’ (Stryker, 2006) and experiences of trans sexuality was announced to be politically important as a way of shifting stereotypical associations surrounding trans, gender and sexuality generally. Trans pornography and erotica are two sites that offer many semi-aurobiographical accounts of trans sexualities that often speak back to hetero and homo normative perspectives that are usually underpinned with medicalized narratives. I argue that in the words of Kate Bornstein (1994: 163), over a decade ago, that these cultural productions offer “irreverence for the established order” and incorporate the “often dizzying use of paradox.” Using textual data, I will illustrate that gender transitions (sporadic, permanent or undecided) are not solely about gender, as a core characteristic, and suggest that sexuality is part of trans subjectivity too. I will draw on the work of Bataille and Deleuze and Guattari to illustrate that trans sexualities should perhaps be theorized through trans bodily aesthetic affects that simultaneously engenders ‘becoming identities’ in the erotica. This conceptualization helps us move to more helpful descriptive analyses than identitarian (hetero/homo/bi) and sexological conceptualizations can offer us; and understand helps us understand trans sexualities as endless and rhizomatic.
Keywords:erotica, sexualities
Subjects:L Social studies > L320 Gender studies
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Health & Social Care
ID Code:5016
Deposited By: Zowie Davy
Deposited On:04 Apr 2012 15:24
Last Modified:28 Aug 2014 13:01

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