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Educators Queering Academia

Critical Memoirs

Series:

Edited By sj Miller and Nelson M. Rodriguez

The memoirs in this collection represent a cross-section of critical reflections by a queerly diverse set of individuals on their experiences inhabiting a variety of spaces within the field of education. In their stories, the authors share how they queered and are continuing to queer the academy in relation to questions of teaching, research, policy, and/or administration. Their memoirs speak across generations of queer educators and scholars; collectively their work highlights an array of theoretical perspectives and methodological approaches. As snapshots in time, the memoirs can be taken up as archive and studied in order to gain perspective on the issues facing queers in the academy across various intersections of identities related to ethnicity, culture, language, (a)gender, (a)sexuality, (dis)ability, socio-economic status, religion, age, veteran status, health status, and more. By way of the memoirs in this volume, a richer body of queer knowledge is offered that can be pulled from and infused into the academic and personal contexts of the work of educators queering academia.
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Chapter Eleven: (Un)becoming Trans*: Every Breath You Take and Every …

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← 102 | 103 →

CHAPTER ELEVEN

(Un)becoming Trans*: Every Breath You Take and Every …

sj MILLER

 

move you make every bond you break, every step you take, I’ll be watching you. —STING (1983)

These lyrics, sung by Police in their album Synchronicity was not only on the Billboard Top 100 list for eight weeks in a row, but it also was named Song of the Year by Billboard Magazine. When interviewed about the song, Sting, the band’s lead vocalist, said it was meant to be a love song imbued with nuances of surveillance and control. Well, I was 13 when the song came out and little did Sting know that his song was wrapping coils around my delicate and prepubescent body and encircling me “with trenches and barbed wire” (1985), a barbed wire that would both foreclose parts of my being and yet open up my life to a newness and unknown possibility. The trans*ness and untrans*ness I embodied, had always embodied, oozed out to the track of “Every Breath You Take,” and through my prickled pores, the song became my (un)broken record that would continue to replay its haunting line,

Every breath you take and every move you make, every bond you break, every step you take, I’ll be watching you. ← 103 | 104 →

As I was becoming trans*,1 I was (un)becoming trans* and with each move I made, each...

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