The Two Revolutions - A History of the Transgender Internet Book
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RELEASE DATE - 1 AUGUST 2023
The internet origins of the American transgender movement.
The Two Revolutions explores how the rise of the internet shaped transgender identity and activism from the 1980s to the present. Through extensive archival research and media archeology, Avery Dame-Griff reconstructs the manifold digital networks of transgender activists, cross-dressing computer hobbyists, and others interested in gender nonconformity who incited the second revolution of the title: the ascendance of “transgender” as an umbrella identity in the mid-1990s.
Dame-Griff argues that digital communications sparked significant momentum within what would become the transgender movement, but also further cemented existing power structures. Covering both a historical period that is largely neglected within the history of computing, and the poorly understood role of technology in queer and trans social movements, The Two Revolutions offers a new understanding of both revolutions―the internet’s early development and the structures of communication that would take us to today’s tipping point of trans visibility politics.
Through a history of how trans people online exploited different digital infrastructures in the early days of the internet to build a community, The Two Revolutions tells a crucial part of trans history itself.
"The book I’ve been waiting for! Through nuanced archival research, Avery Dame-Griff reveals how the internet helped create what is now known as the transgender community. In this book, we see how cross-dressers and transsexuals (and later trans youth) used shifting digital tools, from bulletin boards to social media tags, to share information, create and contest new identity terms, and find connection. The Two Revolutions promises to revolutionise trans and internet studies."
Laura Horak, director of the Transgender Media Lab at Carleton University
"A critically necessary history. Avery Dame-Griff shows that the development of the internet and the history of transgender life and identity are inextricably bound up in one another. Meticulously researched and beautifully written, The Two Revolutions is a transformative work."
Jacob Gaboury, author of Image Objects: An Archaeology of Computer Graphics
"The Two Revolutions: A History of the Transgender Internet by Avery Dame-Griff is a delightfully readable academic work that tells a story of trans online life since the earliest days of the dial-up modem... it's as much a straightforward history as it is an experiment in using digital materials to tell recent history."
Jamie Lauren Keiles ― The Baffler