Trans Femme Futures

This book project presents a vision of transfeminism that is rooted in ethical and politicised collective practices of care. Transfeminism is a liberatory approach emerging from trans, gender non-conforming, queer and marginalised bodies and lives, emphasising open approaches to embodiment and social formation, in resistance to the violence of categorical gendering. From coalitional practices emerges our social and political critique of neoliberal institutions. Over articulations of transfeminism that focus on including trans people in feminism, this book formulates a notion of collective flourishing, in the form of a structurally anti-hegemonic ethics. This ethics opens a future that emphasizes anti-oppressive world-making and collective autonomy.

Nat Raha and Mijke van der Drift

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In contrast to arguments that base gender on stable social categories, or that root politics around individual identities, our reading of transfeminism emerges from femme and the heterogeneous collectivities that form through and around femme lives. Femme describes a constellation of queer, gendered expressions that uproot the expectations of femininity, using experiences of desire, belonging, and generosity, but also experiences of harm to inform building community and collective power. We demonstrate how a trans femme reading of radical coalitional ethics holds space, space that involve relations, contradictions, and contestations. Trans femmes undertake actions that contribute to each other’s wellbeing. These actions involve care, concrete support, ensuring collectives remain operating (elsewhere understood as emotional labour) and questioning one’s own understanding of the world, building communalities. These are communalities that do not require homogeneity, purification or simple readings of unity, but in contrast rely on differences, pluralism, and collaborations. Our approach enriches trans, queer, and feminist dialogues by moving away from discourses of rights and a reliance on institutions to pursue legal and social change, towards the understanding that we are collective agents for social change. Our argument underlines that we are, have been and can be agents of transformative practices that allows trans and queer life to thrive.