Transgender History by Susan Stryker is a non-fiction book that is about Transgender individuals throughout history in the United States from the 18th century to the 2000s. Author Susan Stryker is known to be an American author and professor whose field of profession is on gender and human sexuality. The beginning of the book starts with contexts, concepts, and terms relating to gender and human sexuality.
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From words like Gender dysphoria to Gender-neutral pronouns or to Morphology, Stryker allows the reader to be introduced to a wider spectrum of terms, definitions, and background knowledge in order to inform the reader more about the topic of the book. In addition, the book begins in 1850 with a scenario of a young female person who doesn’t want to be limited of fulfilling a homemaker role and decides to join the army. The purpose of introducing this scenario was for the reader to understand that it was illegal to dress opposite of your gender.
Until the 1950s, the medical community stated that gender non-conformity was seen as an illness and needed to be treated. Stryker also mentions throughout the book about the taboo ideas relating to homosexuality, transgender, gender, and sexuality and how they were categorized as the same idea even though in today’s standards they are not. The book then continues about the Trans Liberation in chapter 3 that starts from the 1950s till the 1970s with the conflict between police and individuals belonging to the LGBTQ+ community. For example, on May 1959: a doughnut and coffee placed called Cooper Do-Nut had customers throwing doughnuts at the police officers who were harassing the individuals resulting in fights in the streets and arrest. Stryker points out the movement that individuals belonging to the LGBTQ+ community were doing in order to receive equal treatment within society. Unfortunately, these movements received backlash especially within the LGB and feminist movements through the 1970s and 1980s. The backlash that the movements received weren’t just political backlash but medical institutions literature stated that Gender Identity Disorder was a curable disorder and the effects of the AIDS Pandemic appeared to threaten the transgender community. Lastly, in the two chapters they both discuss about the current wave in the 1990s till the 2000s relating to the empowerment that the transgender people were receiving due to the positive information about gender,
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