Julia Serano is a true Renaissance woman: a writer, performer, activist, musician, and biologist.
She is best known for her book Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity (Seal Press, 2007), a collection of personal essays that debunk many of the myths and misconceptions that people have about trans women, femininity, and the subjects of gender and sexism more generally. Now in its second edition, Whipping Girl has garnered rave reviews - The Advocate placed it on their list of the best non-fiction transgender books and readers of Ms. Magazine ranked it #16 on their list of the 100 Best Non-Fiction Books of All Time.
Julia’s second full-length book, Excluded: Making Feminist and Queer Movements More Inclusive, was published by Seal Press in 2013, and has quickly garnered considerable praise and interest: Autostraddle named it as one of the “Top 10 Queer and Feminist Books of 2013” and it was a Publishing Triangle finalist for the Judy Grahn Award for Lesbian Nonfiction. Both Excluded and Whipping Girl are often used as teaching materials in gender studies, queer/LGBTQ studies, anthropology, sociology, psychology, and human sexuality courses in colleges across North America.
In November 2016, Julia released her third book, Outspoken: A Decade of Transgender Activism and Trans Feminism, which has since been named a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award for Transgender Nonfiction. Her other writings have appeared in over a dozen anthologies, and in news and media outlets such as TIME, The Guardian, The Daily Beast, Salon, AlterNet.org, The Advocate, Out, Bitch, and Ms. Magazine. Her work tackles a broad range of topics related to gender, sexuality, and activism.
Lately, Julia has taken to writing and performing silly, surreal, sex-positive fiction under the pen name Kat Cataclysm.
Julia is also an accomplished spoken word artist. She is a slam poetry champion (having qualified for finals and/or semifinals in Berkeley, San Francisco, and San Jose in the past) and has performed spoken word at a variety of high profile events, including Toronto Pride, San Francisco Pride Main Stage, The San Francisco Dyke March, Ladyfest Bay Area, and The National Queer Arts Festival.
As a musician, Julia was the lyricist-guitarist-vocalist for the indie-rock trio Bitesize. During their heyday, Bitesize released two critically acclaimed CDs, toured up and down the West Coast, and received college radio airplay nationwide. Julia’s current lo-fi noise-pop solo music project is called *soft vowel sounds*.
Julia has also been an event curator. She single-handedly organized the performance series GenderEnders from 2003-06, as well as the 2007 National Queer Arts Festival show The The “Penis” Issue: Trans and Intersex Women Speak Their Minds. She was also one of the original co-curators (from 2009-2013) for the spoken word and performance event Girl Talk: A Trans and Cis Woman Dialogue.
In addition to all this, Julia has a PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics from Columbia University, and spent 17 years as a researcher at UC Berkeley in the fields of genetics, evolution and developmental biology. Her understanding of biology, along with her life experiences as a trans woman, give her a unique perspective on gender and sexism that challenges many commonly held beliefs. She has given performances, presentations, and keynote talks on topics related to feminism and LGBTQ+ issues at a diverse array of colleges and conferences (a comprehensive list can be found here).
To find out how to book Julia for an event, check out her booking webpage.
other pages of interest:
a comprehensive bibliography of Julia's published writings
Julia’s Press page (interviews, reviews, and articles about her)
Julia’s audio-visual page (watch/listen to her spoken word & music performances)
Julia’s history (and various projects) as a transgender activist
Julia’s Biology and Science webpage
Julia’s Patreon page
Whipping Girl - Excluded - Outspoken - music - audio-visual - Twitter - Facebook
julia serano ©2002-2017