Ace Lehner presented: From Rayon to Original Plumbing: Looking at and thinking through Trans* embodiment as represented in Contemporary U.S. Visual Culture

at the Gender Beyond Boundaries Conference at UCSD, on 4/18/2014
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Ace Lehner

The paper considers Original Plumbing: Trans Male Quarterly as a specific site of cultural production and evaluates the project as a whole, while also looking closely at specific images taken from a few of the thirteen issues that have been circulated to date. With this research Lehner considers the significance of O.P. and the potential O.P. holds within the contemporary climate of QUILTBAG rights and issues about visibility and representation. Lehner is particularly interested in how Original Plumbing might function as an intervention into the binary gender system, how race and class are presented within the quarterly and on the O.P. website, how the project navigates the ever present issue of producing representations of subjects who are largely visually marginalized as a group and how O.P. functions as a space of community creation beyond the transman* community. To situate Original Plumbing within a contemporary context Lehner also discusses a few recent scenarios including: Brothers Sisters Sons & Daughters, the 2014 Spring add campaign featuring 17 trans models, launched by Barneys New York; the racist and trans-phobic hate crime perpetrated against CeCe McDonald and the agender-phobic hate crime perpetrated against Sasha Fleishman.