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), a collection of personal essays that reveal how misogyny frames popular assumptions about femininity, and shapes many of the myths and misconceptions people have about trans women. Since its publication in 2007, 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) and it has been used as teaching materials in gender studies, queer/LGBTQ studies, sociology, psychology, and human sexuality courses in colleges across North America.
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
Julia’s other writings have appeared in over a dozen anthologies (including Yes Means Yes: Visions of Female Sexual Power and A World Without Rape, Best Sex Writing 2013, and Word Warriors: 30 Leaders in the Women’s Spoken Word Movement), and in magazines and news outlets such as The Guardian, The Daily Beast, AlterNet.org, The Advocate, Out, Bitch, and Ms. Magazine. Her work tackles a broad range of topics related to gender and sexuality, including feminism and queer/LGBTQIA+ activism, transgender identities and issues, media and psychiatric depictions of gender and sexual minorities, sexism and sexualization, the “nature versus nurture” debate, bisexuality, femininity and femme politics.
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 noise-pop 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 indie-pop solo music project is called *soft vowel sounds* - her first record under that moniker (the four-song Ray versus Macbeth and the Music Box, part one) has recently been released.
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 been invited to present keynote talks for diverse array of conferences (including the Lewis and Clark Gender Studies Symposium, Pedagogy of Privilege, At the Border: Transformation and Transition in Contemporary Feminism, Radical Queer Convergence, Philadelphia Trans-Health Conference, Translating Identity Conference, UW’s Women’s Leadership Conference, and Femme 2008, to name a few), and is routinely invited to college campuses to give performances and presentations on feminism, gender and LGBTQ-related issues.
To find out how to book Julia for an event, check out her booking webpage.
other pages of interest:
a complete bibliography of Julia's published writings
interviews with, and press clippings about, Julia
Julia’s past workshops, classes, conferences, panels and presentations
Julia’s music projects
Julia’s Biology and Science webpage
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