Transpeople Will Talk

Let’s face it: What most of us know about transgender people could fit into a Barbie shoe. And what we think we know about them — that they are men in dresses or confused, closeted lesbians — is just plain wrong. Lori Girshick, a sociologist and activist who teaches at Chandler-Gilbert Community College, is attempting to bust up misconceptions and stereotypes with Transgender Voices: Beyond Women and Men, which collects the stories of 150 transpeople, which is what they prefer to be called.

Girshick posits that the notion that all people conform biologically to either male or female identities is mistaken, and that what we consider acceptable gender-based behavior is an old theory whose time has passed. Girshick’s subjects untangle fallacies about issues of gender identity while also providing enough insider info about how transgender lives work (and how they don’t) to make for a compelling read.

Fri., June 27, 7 p.m., 2008
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Robrt L. Pela has been a weekly contributor to Phoenix New Times since 1991, primarily as a cultural critic. His radio essays air on National Public Radio affiliate KJZZ's Morning Edition.
Contact: Robrt L. Pela