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Fierce, Fabulous, and Fluid - How Trans High School Students Work at Gender Nonconformity

Fierce, Fabulous, and Fluid

How Trans High School Students Work at Gender Nonconformity

Paperback : 9781779400505, 240 pages, August 2024
Expected to ship: 2024-08-06
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Spotlights the work of trans youth in creating inclusive spaces within high schools

Fierce, Fabulous, and Fluid presents a poignant critique of educational policies aimed at supporting trans and gender-nonconforming youth in schools. Over the years, caring adults have recognized these students as vulnerable and have tried to create inclusive environments to address their unique challenges. However, the book argues that these approaches have inadvertently perpetuated a narrow definition of trans identity, leaving many trans, non-binary, and gender-nonconforming youth feeling excluded and unseen.

Based on a year-long ethnographic study conducted in a Canadian high school, LJ Slovin closely observes the experiences of gender-nonconforming youth who were often overlooked in discussions about trans issues. Despite their lack of recognition, these hard-working young individuals persevered, navigating their own identities and striving to thrive within the education system.

Through their daily efforts, these young people have worked to expand notions of gender in their school environment, building more inclusive spaces that embrace all trans identities. By sharing their stories, Slovin emphasizes the need for educators to move away from a focus on risk and concern and instead foster a celebration of trans and gender-nonconforming youth. The book urges educators to cultivate a genuine desire to understand and support trans youth, paving the way for a brighter and queerer future within educational settings.


Fierce, Fabulous, and Fluid tells us a new story of trans youth. It’s a story in which gender fluid young folks are not just dreaming of a better world, they are actively building one. For the trans students at East High inclusion is not enough, it is simply a starting point to build the world young folks envision and deserve. This world is characterized by trans joy and doesn’t just tolerate queer lives, but celebrates them.” —C.J. Pascoe, author of Nice is Not Enough: Inequality and the Limits of Kindness at American High

“Slovin honours the seen and unseen labour that gender nonconforming youth perform as they work to survive high school. Slovin deftly shows gender nonconforming youth revel in their ambiguity and uncertainty, pushing at the edges of intelligibility. Slovin’s lesson, for educators and adults, asks us to honour and dwell in our own gender ambiguity and to recognize, in youth and ourselves, the radical potential of refusing the demands of gender normativity.” —Jen Gilbert, author of Sexuality in School: The Limits of Education

“A powerful ethnography. Slovin draws on extensive ethnographic experience to portray high school both as an oppressive environment striated by whiteness, colonialism, class privilege, and heteropatriarchal sex and gender norms and as a space of resistance and transformation.” —Travers, author of The Trans Generation: How Trans Kids (and Their Parents) Are Creating a Gender Revolution