This article explores the controversy surrounding David France's documentary, The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson, which premiered on Netflix in October 2017. Examining both France, and trans activist and filmmaker Tourmaline's statements that France stole her ideas and work from her project, Happy Birthday Marsha!, this article unpacks the fight over narrative authority. Using queer and feminist of color theories based in theories of the flesh, I argue that through the whitening of Johnson's narrative and framing her as a victim by France, as well as claims to narrative authority by Tourmaline and Mariah Lopez, trans kin of Johnson, the controversy points to the limits of queer politics for understanding the experiences of transwomen of color on their own terms. Thus, I argue for the necessity of a trans* analytic as a space of radical coalition building.


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pp. 26-39
Launched on MUSE
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