Trans‐gender things: Objects and the materiality of trans‐femininity in Ming‐Qing China


This article demonstrates that objects, more specifically the trans usage of objects that disrupted and rearticulated the normative alignment of objects, sexed bodies and gender embodiments, served a formative role in helping male‐assigned individuals to cross gender boundaries and achieve trans‐femininity in Ming‐Qing China. The examined objects include the foot‐binding cloth for the feminine bodily image of bound feet, the embroidery needle for ‘womanly work’ and concealing underwear for feminine, penetrated sexual acts. This object‐oriented heuristic offers a new culturally specific approach to trans history beyond identarian frameworks and foregrounds the material multiplicity of trans formations and embodiments in Ming‐Qing China

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