Figures of a Gender Now Upon Us: The Transfeminine in Contemporary Queer Fiction from the Philippines

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


How does the transfeminine emerge in Filipinx discourses on gender? What makes her emergence possible along the intersections of the vernacular, the colonial, the modern, and the contemporary? In this chapter, I focus on the discursive formation of the binabayi (the transfeminine). The chapter consists of three parts. I begin by articulating a theory of transfeminine subjectivity through an explication of vernacular consciousness, a description of the possibilities of performance from the vernacular itself, and a trans critique of both concepts of consciousness and performance. Then, I suggest a decolonial reading of transfemininity by looking at the appearances of the binabayi in lexicons during the Spanish colonial period in the Philippines. Finally, I offer a trans reading of an assemblage of contemporary Filipinx fiction: Vincent Empimano's ‘Utoy’ (‘Little Boy’), Joe Henry B. Teñido's ‘Taya’ (‘It’), Andrew Estacio's ‘Dibuhong Martir’ (‘Portrait Martyr’), and Carlo Paulo Pacolor's ‘Ang Natatanging Lamyos ng mga Bakla’ (‘The Incredible Tenderness of Faggots’). I argue that, together, these four narratives signify how young queer writers in the Philippines imagine modes of existence which enable the transfeminine to emerge in writing.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPerforming Genders of Equality
EditorsEmilia Almarza, Carla Gonzalez, Suzanne Clisby
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherRoutledge Taylor & Francis Group
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781003162759
ISBN (Print)9780367755010
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Figures of a Gender Now Upon Us: The Transfeminine in Contemporary Queer Fiction from the Philippines'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this