Trans* Joy as Resistance

Possessor, Tangerine, and Affective Trans* Embodiment under Capitalism

in Screen Bodies
Saturn Sigourney Rage Researcher, University of Kansas, USA

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Theorist Lauren Berlant defines inconvenience as an affect, one exerted by dominant forces onto subordinate populations. In the same way subordinate populations exert inconvenient affects as well, creating a dynamic of dominant and subordinate inconvenience through which social power relationships may be understood. Following this structure, this article charts the dominant and subordinate affects exerted by capitalism and trans* bodies, respectively, and how capitalist oppression responds to and shapes trans* embodiment. Through an autotheoretical lens, this relationship is here examined in the 2020 film Possessor and the 2015 film Tangerine, highlighting the points of interaction between trans*ness and capitalism's state structures of domination and oppression. Ultimately, I point to trans* joy as an affect that presents a danger to capitalism's domination, providing space for trans* persons to thrive.

Contributor Notes

Saturn Sigourney Rage (they/she) is a PhD student in the Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Kansas. They have previously focused on representations of masculine queerness in United States television and film. Their research now focuses on questions of trans* representation in film and visual media. More specifically, they examine media by and featuring trans* artists focusing on trans* embodiment, visibility, and sexual pleasure, and within these they explore how these representations both serve as visibility for trans* populations, as well as how they challenge and interact with the sex/gender binary. Email:

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Screen Bodies

The Journal of Embodiment, Media Arts, and Technology

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