How we present ourselves to others and how our identities are represented in society is something that we have to negotiate every day. For members of the trans community - transgender, transsexual or some new gendered selfhood - representation has tremendous psychological and social weight. Trans men and trans women must negotiate their representation in multiple domains, with life-changing significance. These include high stakes negotiations of representation in interactions with the legal system and with medical practice, and in the most superficial interactions and social exchanges with strangers. Trans men and trans women must also, of course, negotiate the definitions of their most intimate and meaningful personal relationships.
This collection of essays draws on the lived experiences of a number of people who are active members within the trans community. It also draws on the work of university-based academics, thereby bridging scholarly and community discourses about representations of trans people in language, law, art and community health. Here, some of the voices of members of the trans community within New Zealand, and from Asia, the Pacific islands, and North America, can be heard in their own words and on their own terms, within a broader social and historical perspective.
Included are images by photographer Fiona Clark, who has documented the lives of her trans friends for four decades. With essays by Miriam Meyerhoff, Niko Besnier, Jack Byrne, Fiona Clark, Sandra Dickson, Poiva Junior Ashleigh Feu'u, Adeline Greig, Evan Hazenberg, Christopher Hutton, Elisabeth McDonald, Karen Parker, Kimberly Tao, Ahi Wi-Hongi, and Lal Zimman.