Transphobic tropes and young adult fiction: An analysis of Brian katcher's Almost Perfect

Barbara Pini, Wendy Keys, Damien W. Riggs

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

The growing number of representations of trans people in the sociocultural realm are not produced exclusively for adults, but are also made available for youth audiences (Sandercock; Norbury). One of the vehicles through which trans people have been incorporated into youth culture is via the Young Adult novel. The premise of this article is that the increased production of such texts demands scholarly attention. Despite recent growth, trans representation remains sparse across youth literature. As such, the genre can provide an educative role for trans youth, allowing them to see their experiences and concerns reflected back at them (Pini, Keys, and Marshall). Further, such novels can contribute to a trans pedagogy that challenges dominant discourses of gender and sexuality by educating students, teachers, and parents about the lives of youth with diverse genders and sexualities (Bach). Alongside their positive potential, however, novels featuring trans youth may also be oppressive for trans young people, and used as a pedagogic tool to reify hegemonic categories of sexuality and gender. As Keegan has insightfully argued, the proliferation of trans representations is not indicative of a “move to transgender equality,” for such representations can be used to “enforce” normativity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-72
Number of pages16
JournalLion and the Unicorn
Volume42
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018

Keywords

  • youth
  • trans youth
  • trans representation
  • Young adult fiction
  • trans youth fiction

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