Amanda brought our attention to a photo project by L. Weingarten called “A Series of Questions.” The ongoing project is designed to draw our attention to how the kinds of questions we ask transgender people makes them feel like inexplicable Others. From a description of the project:
The subjects, self-identified people of transgender, transsexual, genderqueer, gender-variant, or gender non-conforming experience, hold signs depicting questions that each has had posed to them personally — some by strangers, others by loved ones, friends, or colleagues. Presented on white wooden boards, the questions are turned on the viewer, shifting the dynamics under which they were originally asked, and prompting the viewer to cast a reflective, self-critical eye upon him or herself, revealing how invasive this frame of reference can be.
In other words, these questions get asked not only because transgender people break the rules, they get asked because the rest of us can be so inflexible, utterly confounded when other around us challenge our assumptions about the world.
Lisa Wade, PhD is an Associate Professor at Tulane University. She is the author of American Hookup, a book about college sexual culture; a textbook about gender; and a forthcoming introductory text: Terrible Magnificent Sociology. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram.