by Cáel M. Keegan

About Cáel M. Keegan

Cáel M. Keegan is Assistant Professor of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Integrative, Religious, and Intercultural Studies at Grand Valley State University. He is the author of Lana and Lilly Wachowski: Sensing Transgender and a co-editor of Somatechnics 8.1, “Cinematic Bodies.” His writing has also appeared in Genders, Queer Studies in Media and Popular Culture, Transgender Studies Quarterly, Mediekultur, Spectator, and Journal of Homosexuality.


Signifying the complex of identifications and theorizations arising from transgender life, trans-/* is a hybrid formation with an uncertain and largely unexplored relation to comics. The identifying prefix trans has been attached to the practices and identities of various sex and gender minority groups since the early 1960s: past usages include transvestite, transsexual, and transgenderist (Rawson and Williams 2014). Since the 1990s, it has been more commonly affixed to gender to form transgender—an umbrella term that now categorizes gender nonconforming identities largely outside the framework of sexuality (Feinberg 1998; Love 2014; Valentine 2007). Today, the term trans is often used as shorthand to collect together various forms of gender nonconforming behavior and identification, while the terms trans- and trans* are used to describe modes of theorization and inquiry grounded in transgender knowledges and cultural praxes (Stryker, Currah, and Moore 2008; Hayward and Weinstein 2015).