Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

On the Shelf

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

On the Shelf

Article excerpt

Ezili's Mirrors: Imagining Black Queer Genders is Omise'eke Natasha Tinsley's complex, multi-voice exploration of how LGBT African-Americans view gender in ways that reference the queered genders in the pantheon of Voodou spiritual practice. Tinsley finds Voodou references in everything from the Harlem ball scene, documentaries on Haitian women union organizers, and the complicated gender performances Krag king MilDred Gerestant, to singers like Whitney Houston and Nicki Minaj. It's an often complex analysis with historical citations, spiritual explorations, and gender expressions. It will have you ruminating for days about the queerness of Marie Laveau; bisexual southern gentlemen in the French Quarter; odd ways that slavery--and strange Jim Crow laws--defeminized black women; the garbage that clogs Haitian waterways; and how work is a critical element of black fem(me)inine genders. (Duke University Press)--JAM

Struggling for Ordinary: Media and Transgender Belonging in Everyday Life by Andre Calvalcante looks at how the portrayl of transgender people--in mainstream and LGBT media--has expanded the possibilities for who trans people can be. Between 2008 and 2012, Calvalcante interviewed 35 trans individuals from San Francisco and "a small Midwestern city." He concludes that most of his HRjjects are struggling to simply live "ordinary" lives--although his definition of that term is atypical. His sense of ordinary or "normal" is situated firmly in the academic realm of queer studies, where transgender people are often imagined as, Calvalcante says, "the ideal queer subject . …

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