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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
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200 pages | 6 x 9 | 7 b&w photos, 5 b&w illus. |

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 transgender politics can be imagined as part of Chicanx and Latinx political movements. 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.


Honorable Mention for the National Women’s Studies Association's 2021 Gloria E. Anzaldúa Book Prize

2021 Finalist Best LGBTQ+ Themed Book, International Latino Book Awards

2022 John Leo & Dana Heller Award for Best Single Work, Anthology, Multi-Authored, or Edited Book in LGBTQ Studies, Popular Culture Association

  • 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 American Studiesand Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies at the University of New Mexico. 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.


“[Brown Trans Figurations'] most accessible sections provide thorough and rewarding analyses of popular culture...scholars in the fields of Latinx and gender studies will appreciate this detailed look at an underexplored subject.”
Publishers Weekly

“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 a deeply original, provocative, and innovative work. I am certain that Francisco 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


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