Meredith Talusan

Meredith Talusan is a writer, visual artist, and literary scholar living in New York. Her thoughts on gender can be found at

Recent Articles

45 Years After Stonewall, the LGBT Movement Has a Transphobia Problem

Pride revelers often laud the role played by trans activist Sylvia Rivera in the Stonewall riots, a turning point in the fight for LGBT rights. But after the parade, trans people are forgotten—or worse.

Photo by Anthony Behar/Sipa USA via AP Images
This week marks the anniversary of the Stonewall riots that inaugurated the modern gay rights movement in the United States, one that will be celebrated this weekend with Pride events in New York City and San Francisco. They feature transgender celebrities Laverne Cox and Janet Mock as grand marshals in the two respective cities, with other LGBT luminaries joining the festivities. The symbolic inclusion of these transgender women is an attempt by Pride organizers in both cities to signal trans inclusion as part of Pride's present. Yet Pride—once known as Gay Pride—has long been a time of paradox as much as celebration, a time when the advances of the mainstream gay rights struggle muffles a more complicated history, one that from its origins has involved transgender people. It's a well-worn story that trans women like Sylvia Rivera were key leaders in the Stonewall rebellion whose anniversary Pride celebrates. The story that isn't told enough and, when it is, with too...

’Coming Out’ Doesn’t Begin to Describe It: Message from a Trans Survivor

For trans people, revealing their history calls the truth of their gender into question.

Courtesy of TED Conferences
After more than a decade representing top brands as a model in New York, Geena Rocero compelled us to reconsider womanhood when, during a March 31 TED Talk, she revealed that she is transgender . "Today, this very moment, is my real coming out,” Rocero told a TED audience gathered at the Vancouver Convention Center in Vancouver, Canada. “I could no longer live my truth for and by myself. I want to do my best to help others live their truth without shame and terror.” In the weeks that followed, the press treated Rocero’s announcement, delivered on the International Transgender Day of Visibility, with much the same fanfare as the recent string of gay athletes coming out in professional and college sports. Harper's Bazaar and Glamour called her story "inspiring" and “moving"; she sat for an interview with New York magazine and did a first-person piece for Having revealed my trans status publicly, I struggled with Rocero’s use of the phrase...

Occupy 19th-Century Norway

Photo Courtesy of Broadway World Whether through sheer coincidence or masterful timing, the Manhattan Theatre Club’s Broadway revival of Henrik Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People opened last Thursday in the wake of Occupy Wall Street’s first anniversary. When the play’s main character, Thomas Stockman (Boyd Gaines) declares that “the enemy is the liberal-minded majority,” it’s as though he were speaking directly to the audience of polite theatergoers who sit idle as their own government takes advantage of them. Director Doug Hughes reinforces the connection by aiming Stockman’s climactic speech at the audience, where an ensemble playing townspeople sits in the first row. It’s a rare bit of bravura from a director known for his understated yet emotionally powerful productions like 2005’s Doubt , for which he won a Tony Award. British playwright Rebecca Lenkiewicz’s snappy adaptation, first produced in London’s Arcola...

Gabby Douglas: No Poland Spring Girl

Racial stereotypes keep the gold medalist from the choicest endorsement deals.

(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Gabby Douglas had me at the first release move. The gymnast who would become the breakout star of the 2012 Olympics wasn’t even officially part of the American Cup all-around competition in March. She was an alternate beside the more accomplished Jordyn Wieber and Aly Raisman, only allowed to show her routines to gain experience. But when I saw Gabby perform on bars, she launched herself into the air, higher than any woman has ever done, her ponytail sticking straight up as though reaching for the sky. By the time she came back to earth, I was a fan. Gabby has a history of beating low expectations. Even after she qualified for the Olympics and headed to London, legendary gymnastics coach Bela Karolyi picked the dependable Wieber to win at the Games, telling The New York Times : “Gabby is a flame, a beautiful flame that can shine and glow but can fade out.” When it was Gabby who stuck all four routines for the gold, America was not quite prepared for her to take on...