There’s no neat word to describe Hedwig: It’s problematic to describe her as transgender, since her sex-change operation was both unwanted and incomplete, and she never identified as a woman trapped in a man’s body. She isn’t precisely a drag queen, since her performance persona extends beyond the stage and into day-to-day life. Hedwig is a gay man without the physical “maleness,” who publicly identifies as female for want of a better option. It’s impossible to define Hedwig by what she is or isn’t; Hedwig is just Hedwig, a being of love, creativity, and Borscht-belt humor, irrevocably affected by the divisions that have created her, but not defined by them. (x)

Read the full article. It’s excellent.


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