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Brown Trans Figurations

Brown Trans Figurations
Rethinking Race, Gender, and Sexuality in Chicanx/Latinx Studies

One of the first books focused solely on the trans Latinx experience, Brown Trans Figurations describes how transness and brownness interact within queer, trans, and Latinx historical narratives and material contexts.

Series: Latinx: The Future is Now

January 2021
Not yet published

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This book will be available in January 2021.
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192 pages | 6 x 9 |

Within queer, transgender, and Latinx and Chicanx cultural politics, brown transgender narratives are frequently silenced and erased. Brown trans subjects are treated as deceptive, unnatural, nonexistent, or impossible, their bodies, lives, and material circumstances represented through tropes and used as metaphors. Restoring personhood and agency to these subjects, Francisco J. Galarte advances “brown trans figuration” as a theoretical framework to describe how transness and brownness coexist within the larger queer, trans, and Latinx historical experiences.

Brown Trans Figurations presents a collection of representations that reveal the repression of brown trans narratives and make that repression visible and palpable. Galarte examines the violent deaths of two transgender Latinas and the corresponding narratives that emerged about their lives, analyzes the invisibility of brown transmasculinity in Chicana feminist works, and explores how issues such as immigration rights activism can be imagined as part of an LGBTQ rights-based political platform. This book considers the contexts in which brown trans narratives appear, how they circulate, and how they are reproduced in politics, sexual cultures, and racialized economies.

  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction: Thinking Brown and Trans Together
  • Chapter 1. Dolorous Proximities of Race and Transsexuality: Reading the Gwen Araujo Archive
  • Chapter 2. Examining Transphobic Violence and the Politics of Valuation: The Death of Angie Zapata and the Incarceration of the Hateful Other
  • Chapter 3. Fleshing Out the Chicana/x Butch and Chicano/x FTM Borderlands
  • Chapter 4. The Wound Makes the Man: Trans Figuring Chicano Masculinities
  • Coda: Reading with the X
  • Notes
  • References
  • Index

Francisco J. Galarte is an assistant professor of gender and women's studies at the University of Arizona. He is a coeditor of TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly and the author of the essay "Transitions: The Dolorous Return of a Chicana/o Trans-Fronterizo," in Claiming Home, Shaping Community: Testimonios de los valles. His work has also appeared in Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies and Chicana/Latina Studies.


“This book is poised to break new ground and brilliantly reframe debates around gender and sexuality in Chicanx and Latinx contexts. Brown Trans Figurations ultimately shines through as deeply original, provocative, and innovative. I am certain that Professor Galarte’s book will be read and cited for many years to come.”
Richard T. Rodriguez, author of Next of Kin: The Family in Chicano/a Cultural Politics

Brown Trans Figurations is unique. It is both unprecedented in specialization and ambitious in scope. Through an investment in intersectional analyses, Francisco Galarte confronts trans erasure, particularly within Chicanx Queer theorizing.”
Rachel González, author of Quinceañera Style: Social Belonging and Latinx Consumer Communities