“A beautifully written and argued book.” - Torrey Peters, author of Detransition, Baby
There is no shortage of voices demanding everyone pay attention to the violence trans women suffer. But one frighteningly basic question seems never to be answered: why does it happen? If men are not inherently evil and trans women do not intrinsically invite reprisal—which would make violence unstoppable—then the psychology of that violence had to arise at a certain place and time. The trans panic had to be invented.
Award-winning historian Jules Gill-Peterson takes us from the bustling port cities of New York and New Orleans to the streets of London and Paris in search of the emergence of modern trans misogyny. She connects the colonial and military districts of the British Raj, the Philippines, and Hawai’i to the lively travesti communities of Latin America, where state violence has stamped a trans label on vastly different ways of life. Weaving together the stories of historical figures in a richly detailed narrative, the book shows how trans femininity emerged under colonial governments, the sex work industry, the policing of urban public spaces, and the area between the formal and informal economy.
A Short History of Trans Misogyny is the first book to explain why trans women are burdened by such a weight of injustice and hatred.