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Sex Changes:
The Politics of Transgenderism

Pat Califia

1997, Cleis Press

277 Pages

From the Cover

Sex Changes: The Politics of Transgenderism is Pat Califia's meticulously researched analysis of the contemporary history of transsexuality.

Writing about both male-to-female and female-to-male transsexuals, Califia examines the lives of early transgender pioneers like Christine Jorgenson, Jan Morris, Renee Richards and Mark Rees; partners of transgendered people like Minnie Bruce Pratt; and contemporary transgender activists like Leslie Feinberg and Kate Bornstein.  Includes bibliography, resources, index.

"... only Califia writes with such explicitness and honesty as to make gays and lesbians as well as straights squirm in their chairs.   But while Califia can make you embarrassed, angry, indignant, afraid, or aroused, it is not without higher purpose... Highly recommended." - LIBRARY JOURNAL

"Always intelligent, but never academic, Califia takes bold, unpopular stances on censorship and sexual freedom...No aspect of sex is too forbidden or too undignified to merit Califia's critical attention..." - PUBLISHERS WEEKLY


What would it be like to group up in a society where gender was truly consensual?  If the rite of passage was to name your own gender at adolescence, or upon your transition into adulthood?  What would it be like to walk down the street, go to work, or attend a party and take it for granted that the gender of the people you met would not be the first thing you ascertained about them?  If you could change your sex as effortlessly in reality as you can in virtual reality, and change it back again, wouldn't you like to try it at least once?  What would it be like to live in a society where you could take a vacation from gender?  Or, even more importantly, from other people's gender?  What if we all helped each other to manifest our most beautiful, sexy, intelligent, creative, and adventurous inner selves, instead of cooperating to suppress them?


If these questions frighten, offend, or annoy you, you are one of the people who stand to benefit from transactivism - although it probably doesn't feel like your benefactor.  And if these questions amuse, engage, and challenge you, you're probably a transactivist already.  Welcome to the genderevolution. - Pat Califia

Table of Contents

1. Transsexual Autobiography: The First Wave

2. Father Figures: The Gender Scientists

3. The Backlash: Transphobia in Feminism

4. The Berdache Wars and "Passing Women" Follies: Transphobia in Gay America

5. Contemporary Transsexual Autobiography

6. The Invisible Gender Outlaws: Partners of Transgendered People

7. Trashing the Clinic and Burning Down the Beauty Parlor: Activism Transmutes Pitiable Patients into Feisty Gender Radicals

8. The Future of Gender and Transgenderism


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