Sociologists for Trans Justice is aware that some have raised questions about the recent article by Spencer Garrison in Gender & Society. As sociologists who specialize in studying trans, non-binary and/or intersex communities, and/or trans, non-binary and/or intersex scholars ourselves, we absolutely value the broad cross-section of methodological approaches used by scholars studying marginalized populations. Thus, we agree with the team of Gender & Society editors and peer reviewers who determined that this scholarship makes a meaningful and important contribution to the literature.
It is important to be careful in our work in trans, intersex, and non-binary/genderqueer communities, and in our use of these and related terms, to understand that people can have any combination of those three identities or experiences. Garrison, in both his initial research and in his exemplary response, (also see the Gender & Society blog) is very clear about the distinction between non-binary/genderqueer people overall (which is the group his interlocutors seem to think he is writing about) and trans-identified non-binary/genderqueer people, which is the group he actually interviewed and wrote about.
We stand behind Garrison as a scholar, and look forward to seeing more from him in the future. We also hope anyone interested in this conversation will make it a priority to attend the workshop on “Equity and Inclusion for Transgender, Intersex, Non-Binary, and Gender Non-Conforming Scholars and Scholarship in our Sections, ASA, and the Discipline” at this year’s ASA meeting; the workshop is jointly sponsored by S4TJ and the sections on Sex and Gender; Race, Gender, and Class; and Sexualities.