I just watched a recent segment from MSNBC (via the blog Towleroad) in which Tulane prof/MSNBC commentator Melissa Harris-Perry does a pretty decent roundtable discussion about gender identity and politics in America (being transgender). It’s a 20-minute segment. You can catch it at this link here.
It got me thinking about transgender, genderqueer, and all the ways that people live and identify, what that means in microcosmic senses in the day-to-day and what it means in macrocosmic senses, in terms of political and social policies. And it got me thinking about transgender and genderqueer characters and how they’re portrayed in fiction and movies.
Anyway, for those of you who write fiction and who do not identify as transgender or genderqueer, do you write transgender or genderqueer characters? Why or why not?
Full disclosure: I do not identify as transgender or genderqueer and I currently do not have anything published with transgender or genderqueer characters. I am working on rectifying that with future projects. Not because I think it’s “cool” and “trendy,” but rather because it makes sense to do that, given that I am personally interested in gender and identity politics in America and how those play out in interpersonal relationships (both in real life and in story arcs).
I know some of you who write fiction do have transgender and/or genderqueer characters in your work. What kind of feedback have you gotten about it? Has it opened discussions with regard to identity and gender?
And readers, what fiction (books, short stories, poems) have you read with transgender and/or genderqueer characters that you really enjoyed and why? We’d appreciate your comments and suggestions about these works here.
Many thanks for joining the discussion and happy Monday!