Bierria, “On Love & the Limits of Theory: A Commentary on Gayle Salamon’s The Life & Death of Latisha King: A Critical Phenomenology of Transphobia,” Philosophy Today 66:1 (2022)

Excerpt: “Gayle Salamon’s The Life and Death of Latisha King: A Critical Phenomenology of Transphobia (Salamon 2018) is a meaningful contribution to critical trans studies, a riveting phenomenological study of transphobia, and an innovative intervention into philosophical methodology. Salamon’s phenomenological analysis of how Latisha King’s existence was experienced by others during her life and afterlife reveals how transphobia mobilizes productions of phantom agency—or invented agents, intentions, and actions conjured within a narrative of experience in order to align with anti-trans reasoning used to make sense of the experience (Bierria 2014). Salamon’s vivid descriptions carefully outline how the transphobic experience of another person’s transgression of gender norms in the phenomenological realm—the spaciousness of a gown, the clicking of heels, the feel of a name in one’s mouth—are leveraged not merely to misread or even willfully distort the intention of that person, but to actively construct and project an entire narrative of agentic intention onto her.”

Alisa Bierria
Philosophy Today (Spring 2022) 66 (1): 207–215.