Abstract

Abstract:

This essay explores trans womanhoods in Roanoke, Virginia, in the 1970s and 1980s, with a particular focus on the experiences of Black transfeminine people. The author argues that people of diverse genders and experiences of transness—from drag queens to trans sex workers—became women within certain contexts. Their life stories therefore contribute to broader understandings of southern women’s history. This essay focuses on the lives of three Black queens in Roanoke who participated in an oral history initiative with the Southwest Virginia LGBTQ+ History Project. Through a study of transfeminine people’s lived experiences with changing dress and language as well as sisterhood, motherhood, and their own changing bodies, the author concludes that womanhood is an expansive historical category that includes more than just women.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-1488
Print ISSN
1068-8218
Pages
pp. 122-137
Launched on MUSE
2020-10-22
Open Access
No
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