"Queering Families is an extraordinary book that simultaneously challenges mainstream conceptions of family and exposes the very real struggle of even the most radical of queers to envision family labor in new and feminist ways. Nuanced but highly readable, Pfeffer illuminates that families are not best understood as a set of static roles, but as dynamic relationships marked by ever-shifting identities, bodies, and sex practices. A must-read for scholars and students of the family." -Jane Ward, Professor and Vice Chair, Department of Gender and Sexuality Studies, University of California, Riverside
"Carla Pfeffer takes one of the first deep dives into the lives of cisgender partners of transgender men, as they navigate the complexities of identity, sexuality, intimacy, normativity, labor, visibility, family, and community. Enlivened by these women's voices, the book gives us new queer tools for rethinking interpersonal lives and family institutions." -Joshua Gamson, University of San Francisco, Author of Modern Families: Stories of Extraordinary Journeys to Kinship
"In Queering Families, Pfeffer expands the inquiry into the postmodern family condition by looking beyond family structure to examine the relational nature of gender and sexual identities themselves. Her research with the partners of transmen reveals in careful detail the quotidian care, emotion and identity work they do to shore up their trans* partners' genders, even in moments when the reality of that gender threatens their senses of self, of relationship or of community. It is an intimate glance into the profoundly social nature of our roles as husbands, wives, boyfriends, girlfriends and lovers, an important contribution to the sociology of family, gender, sexuality and identity." -Tey Meadow, Department of Sociology, Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Harvard University
"Perhaps the most profound contribution of this book is to show that families-which so many of us consider the bedrock of modern civilization-are not biologically ordained; they are of our own choice and choosing. Examining ciswomen who are partnered with transmen, Pfeffer skillfully avoids the twin pitfalls of characterizing these relationships as radical subversions or mere mirrors of heteronormativity. Analytically sharp yet also exquisitely sensitive, Queer Families lifts a scholarly veil behind which we see the shape-shifting cultural meanings and material expressions of queer partnerships and family forms in the twenty-first century." -Amin Ghaziani, author of There Goes the Gayborhood?
"What does it mean to be in a post-modern partnership? By examing the family lives of cis women and trans men, Carla Pfeffer reveals problematic assumptions that govern social policy, scholarship on and shared knowledge about families. In doing so she helps to chart a path toward a society based on an ethic of care, justice and inclusion. This book is a must read for scholars of family, gender and trans studies." -CJ Pascoe, Associate Professor, Undergraduate Program Director; Department of Sociology, University of Oregon
"Queering Families brings the personal and relational experiences of cis women partnered with trans men into clear relief. Recognizing the diversity of interviewees' experience, this analysis makes sense of participants' deeply personal accounts of what their partnerships mean for their own gender and sexual identities, community memberships, distribution of household and relational work, familial relationships, and experiences of sex and sexuality. Insightful and sensitive, Queering Families details the constraints, challenges, and threats these cis women navigate as well as the remarkable ways in which they transform our notion of family." -Katrina Kimport, PhD, Assistant Professor, Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health, Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health, University of California, San Francisco
"With its theoretical and empirical sophistication and insight, Queering Families: The Postmodern Partnerships of Cisgender Women and Transgender Men compels us to reassess many of our assumptions regarding sexuality, gender, family, and identity. It asks us to seriously reconsider simple binaries-man/woman, same-sex/opposite-sex, straight/gay. It forces us to reflect on the very meaning of family and to appreciate the increasing diversity of family forms and other relationships. Carla Pfeffer's scholarship on the experiences of cisgender women who are in relationships with transgender men easily-and thankfully-distinguishes itself from most research on the transgender population and on 'transgressive' relationships. This is an engagingly written, cogent and exciting book." -Brian Powell, James H. Rudy Professor of Sociology at Indiana University and author of Counted Out: Same-Sex Relationships and Americans' Definitions of Family