n Gender Questions - Interview with Jack Halberstam - interview

Volume 5 Number 1
  • ISSN : 2309-9704



JACK HALBERSTAM is Professor of English, Comparative Literature and Gender Studies at Columbia University in New York City. Halberstam is the author of five books including: Skin Shows: Gothic Horror and the Technology of Monsters (Duke UP, 1995); Female Masculinity (Duke UP, 1998); In A Queer Time and Place (NYU Press, 2005); The Queer Art of Failure (Duke UP, 2011); and Gaga Feminism: Sex, Gender, and the End of Normal (Beacon Press, 2012). They have written articles that have appeared in numerous journals, magazines and collections. Halberstam is currently working on several projects, including a book titled Wild Things: Queerness After Nature. Here they are interviewed by Chantelle Gray van Heerden for Gender Questions on transgenderism, anarchism and other aspects of identity and queerness.

CHANTELLE GRAY VAN HEERDEN: Over the past few years there has been a noticeable increase of transgender people in movies and television series. We may think here, for example, of the movie The Danish Girl, the Amazon series Transparent, Jamie Clayton in the Sense8 and Laverne Cox from Orange is the New Black. One of the most pertinent issues here is the representation of transgender people who are often, though not exclusively (as the list above suggests), played—and therefore portrayed— by cisgender people. Do you think this kind of representation is problematic? I am also wondering if you think that this kind of transgender mainstreaming glosses over the very personal and deeply affecting emotions experienced by transgender people before, during and after coming out and/or transitioning.

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