New Writing and Videos

I have gotten a bit behind at posting new work. Many new things have come out.
normal life cover

First, the new edition of Normal Life: Administrative Violence, Critical Trans Politics and the Limits of Law is out from Duke University Press. It includes new reflecting on the mainstreaming of trans politics and new cover art by Xylor Jane.

Normal Life was published last month in Spanish from Bellaterra Press. You can find Una Vida Normal here.

In other translations news, I had a wonderful visit to the Center for the Study of Sexualities at the National Central University of Taiwan. My generous hosts translated some of my writing to Mandarin. Here is Chapter 2 of Normal Life, “What’s Wrong with Rights?” in Mandarin. Here is the article I co-authored with Morgan Bassichis and Alex Lee that appears in Captive Genders, “Building an Abolitionist Trans & Queer Movement with Everything We’ve Got” translated to Mandarin. And here is an article with some US trans law basics in Mandarin.

My documentary Pinkwashing Exposed: Seattle Fights Back! (1 hour long) came out in the summer of 2015. You can watch the entire film on the website and you can watch with captions in English, Spanish or Greek captions (Mandarin is coming soon!).

We also made short clips that address particular topics that are easy to share. These include “What is Pinkwashing?” “What is Brand Israel?” and “What is Normalization?”  I put all of these and the full documentary online hoping that people will do free screenings in their own communities and on their campuses. I am happy to report that the documentary has already screened at festivals and community events around the United States and in Canada, Argentina, Japan, Korea, Greece, Holland and in the UK.  It is playing on Cambridge Community Television tomorrow!  You can read a review of the Pinkwashing Exposed in the recent issue of Make/Shift magazine.

Last month, The Scholar and the Feminist Online published a special issue co-edited by Soniya Munshi and Craig Willse, entitled “Navigating Neoliberalism in the Academy, Non-Profits and Beyond.” It is full of great articles and I highly recommend the whole issue. It includes a new article I co-wrote with Dr. Rori Rohlfs called “Legal Equality and the (After?)Math of Eugenics” that looks critically at the proliferation of new statistics about LGBT populations and how they are used in legal reform efforts.  The special issue also includes six more short videos in the series that Hope Dector and I are making as part of our Queer Dreams and Nonprofit Blues project.

Finally, in November I participated in an Oxford Union Debate about whether states should recognize marriage.  It was probably among the most uncomfortable events of my life, not only because I was wearing a tuxedo but also because I was on the “same side” of the debate with a raging zionist and a raging transphobe. Still not sure what to make of all that, but if you want to see what I said, here is the video.




New Writing

Just updating this website and wanted to add some new writing.  Morgan Bassichis and I recently published an article called “Queer Politics and Anti-Blackness” in the new anthology, Queer Necropolitics, edited by Jin Haritaworn, Adi Kuntsman and Silvia Posocco. Craig Willse and I recently published a new essay called “Sex, Gender and War in the Age of Multicultural Imperialism,” in the inaugural issue of QED: A Journal of GLBTQ Worldmaking. The entire issue is themed around Chelsea Manning. I also realized I never posted an essay that I published in an issue of Signs that was focused on the 20th anniversary of Kimberle Crenshaw’s initial work on the concept of “intersectionality.” My essay is called “Intersectional Resistance and Law Reform.” I also published a short essay in the new book, After Homosexual: The Legacies of Gay Liberation, edited by Carolyn D’Cruz and Mark Pendleton. The book reflects on the 40th anniversary of the publication of Dennis Altman’s Homosexual: Oppression and Liberation. My essay, “Too Queer to Be Square,” looks at how queer politics has conservatized in the last 40 years and what queer and trans activists are doing to resist that. Finally, please don’t miss this exciting collection of essays about the 1983 film, Born in Flames, that Craig Willse and I edited for Women and Performance to mark the film’s 30th year. If you haven’t seen Born in Flames, please go watch it right now!  

We Are Born in Flames, co-edited with Craig Willse

Craig Willse and I co-edited “Born in Flames,” a special issue of Women & Performance marking the 30th anniversary of the film “Born in Flames.” 

Read the full issue here or below for the table of contents and PDFs to the articles. 

Born in Flames

Craig Willse and Dean Spade, “Introduction: We are Born in Flames” | download pdf

Lucas Hilderbrand, “In the Heat of the Moment: Notes on the Past, Present, and Future of Born in Flames” | download pdf

Christina Hanhardt, “LAUREL and Harvey: Screening Militant Gay Liberalism and Lesbian Feminist Radicalism circa 1980” | download pdf

Stephen Dillon, “‘It’s here, it’s that time’: Race, Queer Futuriy, and the Temporality of Violence in Born in Flames” | download pdf

Allyson Mitchell, Deirdre Logue, and Scott Miller Berry, “Are You Burning?: Lizzie Borden’s Born in Flames circa 2012″ | download pdf

Eric A. Stanley, Wu Tsang, and Chris Vargas, “Queer Love Economies: Making Trans/Feminist Film in Precarious Times” | download pdf

War and Marriage

This week a new article by me and Craig Willse went up on Organizing Upgrade that aims to capture some of the important left critiques of marriage that have been obscured by the pro-marriage messages of same-sex marriage advocacy.

Also, this interview about why the new campaign for military inclusion for trans people won’t benefit our movements went up on BuzzFeed.  As the President pushes us toward war in Syria, its especially important to build shared analysis about anti-war politics.  Military service inclusion campaigns invite us to be the new poster children of a purportedly fair and equal military, meanwhile the brutal violence of US militarism continues around the globe. I am hoping both these pieces will stimulate conversation and be useful among activists and in classrooms.


With the assistance of the talented Craig Willse, I just put up this site in hopes that it will make it easy for people to access my writing and teaching materials. These days I’m working on edits to my book, which is being published by South End Press in August 2011, and getting ready to teach two classes this fall at Seattle U Law — Law and Social Movements and Poverty Law. Photo: A poster made by Femme Sharks and carried in the 2009 SF Dyke March.