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Trans and gender diverse people have always been present in Australian life, whether they've lived quiet lives in the country, performed in cabaret shows, worked on the streets or run for parliament. But over the last century there have been remarkable changes in how they have identified and expressed themselves. Transgender Australia is the first book to chart the changing social, medical, legal and lived experiences of trans and gender diverse people in Australia since 1910. Drawing on over a hundred oral history interviews and previously unexamined documents and media reports, it highlights how trans people have tried to live authentically while navigating a society that often treated them like outcasts. It is the first book to chart the history of gender diverse Australians, exploring both progress and ongoing battles. It is also a celebration of ways that transgender participation has enriched our lives in all its cultural diversity.
Author: Noah Riseman
Paperback Published 26 September 2023 336 pages
"Noah Riseman’s Transgender Australia: A History since 1910 is the first book that tracks Australian trans history and explores the lives and impacts of gender-diverse people. It’s important for LGBTQ+ identifying people to know our history if we are to know ourselves; Riseman offers an in-depth history lesson that is detailed but does not read as overwhelming or dense. Transgender Australia is an inclusive text that provides an overview of how trans identities have evolved over the past century. As a white, cis, gay man, Riseman poignantly and consistently positions himself as an observer and allows his research and the data and stories collected to speak for themselves. The book is intersectional and addresses the histories, trials, tribulations and successes of not just white trans people but Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and people of colour. Riseman holds space for the devastating and painful realities that trans people have experienced in their fights for legal recognition, the right to bodily autonomy and gender affirmation surgery, or how they survived. Riseman also champions their successes and firsts, looking at the pioneers who have come before and whose shoulders these movements have been born upon. Transgender Australia is a vital asset to exploring LGBTQ+ identity and history in Australia and one that has long been overdue. It serves as a reminder that trans and gender-diverse people have always existed and deserve the recognition and respect that existence commands.: - Books+Publishing reviewer: Bohdi Byles