Transfeminine letter clubs, community care and the radical politics of the erotic

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This essay examines trans feminine community-building and care in the context of desire and the erotic as forms of political praxis. The theoretical core of the text builds on Audre Lorde's broad, poetic use of the erotic as well as Jose Munoz's aesthetic and utopian notion of queer future. I argue that Lorde and Munoz provide important tools for theorizing the erotic as a politically subversive and utopian form of care in the contemporary political setting of rising anti-genderism, moral conservativism and neo-fascism. The essay begins though a brief, historical examination of the ways in which transgender sexuality, desire and the erotic have come to be a neglected and contested topic in both academic and clinical research, despite what Michel Foucault defines as a 'discursive explosion' on the truth about sex and sexuality in modernity. I will then point out historical counter examples of transfeminine, transvestite and cross-dresser community-building in which care is intimately linked to the erotic in Lorde's sense of the term. Finally, I argue that trans desire and the erotic should be understood as radically political in Munoz's sense of utopian imagining of a future yet to be made.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Women's Studies
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)274–289
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - May 2023
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 611 Philosophy
  • 5171 Political Science

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