The recent proliferation of non-binary identities that do not include any physical, social, or presentational transition constitutes a majorly contested shift which has not yet been addressed in transgender scholarship. In this paper, I explore possible social and cultural factors that may contribute to a turn towards transgender from within existing queer communities. Drawing on both queer and transgender theoretical frameworks, I situate my claims in an analysis of neoliberal subjectivity and queer exceptionalism. Considering examples from digital platforms, I will argue that combining the assumption of transgender authenticity and the individualism of queer neoliberal exceptionalism works not only to appropriate transition as a symbol to affirm the queerness of “queer”, but to affirm gender ambiguity as the epitome of authentic queer embodiment. I conclude by suggesting that further analysis of the processes of identity formation and performance may be useful in defining a middle ground amid ongoing trans and queer border wars.
Hord, Levi, "The Drive of Queer Exceptionalism: Transgender Authenticity as Queer Aesthetic" (2017). 2017 Undergraduate Awards. 14.