Birthing Ourselves, Birthing Each Other

Trans Pregnancy: Fertility, Reproduction and Bodily Autonomy Conference

University of Leeds

14th-16th January 2020

Abstract

In the shifting understandings of queer visibility it is not only apparent that transgender people have always existed in history but that so has transgender 'reproduction'.

 

Despite being erased from institutional archives, legal documentation, and public discourse, the residues of their bodies’ refusal of normative fertility remains. Working with Jack Halberstam’s consideration of ‘wild theory’ this paper speculatively reimagines the history of transgender pregnancy. It advocates for visual methodologies that attest to the glimmers, traces and edges of evidence that retrospectively signpost transmasculine reproduction. I ask that we re-attune ourselves to the alternative ‘humming’ of image frequencies (Campt, 2017), to ‘critically fabulate' (Hartman, 2008) a life that could be possible in the open mesh of queer reproductive possibility, and to trust in the embodied and textural nuance of transgender experience, that transgender reproduction is not hidden in the archives but rather hidden in plain sight.

 

This conference paper intends to work as a critical creative dialogue on the counter narrative of transgender reproduction, aside from historical resolution or factual accounts, agitating the archive of stories that exceed epistemological frameworks, that remain errant and wandering and provide a counter archive of transgender birthing.

Conference paper included as part of Trans Pregnancy: Fertility, Reproduction and Bodily Autonomy, University of Leeds, full program available here

Due to urgent personal circumstances I was unable to present on the day - paper written and available however.