queer politics paper 1 - Reclaiming Monstrosity and...

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Reclaiming Monstrosity and Understanding Humanity: “Performing Transgender Rage” Stryker’s “My Words to Victor Frankenstein” is at once a performance and an address both to other transgender individuals and to everyone. To trans people, she advocates for acceptance of internal rage, and from other individuals she seeks to reclaim the “monstrous” nature of the transgender identity—in doing so, she is able to invalidate the demeaning and discriminatory quality of the descriptor. To accomplish this end, Stryker employs an overarching comparison to Frankenstein’s monster, a strong tone, and the use of different sections including a journal entry. The aspect of performance is clear in Stryker’s piece, even as it has been adapted for print media. First, Stryker prefaces the adaption by describing the “genderfuck drag” she wore during the performance. Then, she begins the “Monologue” section. In the “Journal” section she includes poetic elements: “I will swim forever./I will die for eternity./I will learn to breathe water./I will become the water./If I cannot change my situation I will change myself…/…Rage/gives me back my body/as its own fluid medium.” (247) With the scene described at the beginning, the performance seems evident throughout. However, the piece is not only a performance, because it is also a direct address to readers. At times, Stryker specifically addresses transgender readers, but at other times she speaks to everyone. In fact, the performance aspect acts as a medium to address the
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  • Spring '13
  • MelissaSanchez
  • Frankenstein, Stryker, Stryker forces readers, Stryker displays, important tool Stryker

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