The leading transgender activist and queer theorist will be coming to the Alice Haynes Room of the UR Commons on Tuesday, March 23.
“We’re going to talk about the importance of queer theory, where it comes from and what it means in common English,” Wilchins said. “It’s so hard to understand. I’m going to explain why it’s relevant and why they should care. I also illustrate from my own life.”
“Queer theory deconstructs bodies and identities,” she continued. “Where we come from, where we are. Male, female, gay, straight, black and white… It makes people question the identities that we come to know.”
Wilchins has written three books on gender and her works have been published widely in magazines like the Village Voice, Curve and Girlfriends. Her new book of humor and theory based on her stage act is tentatively titled “Trapped! (in a Woman’s Body),” and will be out Spring 2010.
“It came out of a standup comedy routine called ‘The MANgina Monologues: A OneTrans Show,’” Wilchins said. “I take the theory and politics around transgendered issues and do it as standup. It’s all built around real things that have happened. I talk about having to come out of the triple closet as a transgendered lesbian; having to deal with doctors and the medical industrial complex around sexual reassignment; dealing with the TSA at the airport and more.”
Wilkins hopes that by speaking out on gender identity issues, people will be better informed of the differences
“Originally, publications wouldn’t print articles about people like Brandon Teena because he wasn’t gay or lesbian,” she said. “Today, there’s a tremendous number of young gender-queer women that have really broken down this boundary of what counts as lesbian and what counts as trans. They’ve completely blurred the line and I love that.”