Trans Lives, Embodiment, and Non-human Status

This blog post attempts to respond to trans lives, embodiment, and the status of non-human wherein trans lives are always already placed as they twist, tangle, and queer notions of male/female, masculine/feminine, and beyond. My usage of queer echoes Eve Sedgwick's definition of 'queer' as an Indo-European word, meaning 'twerk'. Here, then, it is imperative to make note of the multitudinous ways in which trans embodiment visibilizes despite perpetual rendering of trans lives and bodies as always already non-human, dead, and atemporal contingent upon politics of heteronormativity, homonormativity, and of course, gendered-sexed-racialized sediments layered upon the body's materiality, inhabiting orientation(s) in time and space. In this moment of query, let us call upon Achille Mbembe's essay Necropolitics and come to understand trans lives and bodies as subject to death-worlds, further considering what it means to embody notions of transness in this deathly space. To that end, trans lives exist in and through suicidal temporalities, exploding normative time, resituating embodiment against traditional ways of thinking suicide (i.e. cowardice act, permanent solution to a temporary problem, a response to depression, impulsive, ad infinitum). In this way, I would like to take a moment to further problematize trans lives, embodiment, and the status of non-human through (re)reading Kayden Clarke's police-induced-murder, where allegedly a SWAT team acted appropriately in response to a 'suicide call'. To align our ears with Mbembe: "Homicide and suicide are accomplished in the same act. And to a large extent, resistance and self-destruction are synonymous" (36). At the same time, Mbembe leaves room for agency, autonomy, and power over one's death, placing suicidal temporalities in something like a future. Thus as we read this article on Kayden Clarke's bodily death, brought about by a SWAT team, a trans life, marked as non-human at the hands of the nation-state, intersected with Asperger's, what are we to make of the notion of transness (being-trans) and human rights? How does this particular story connect to police brutality; what are the similarities and differences of this account of police-induced-murder juxtaposed to other accounts of police brutality? And importantly, while acknowledging space as bracketed through power, negating being-in-the-world (Heidegger), how can we, simultaneously, take into account power over one's death? I'm interested in considering and gingerly complicating these connections, particularly in the case of Kayden Clarke, namely to better understand the intricate ways of remembering him. 




  • Death
  • Trans
  • Suicide
  • Police Brutality
  • Necropolitics
  • queer
  • Embodiment
  • Phenomenology



  • Trans
  • Embodiment
  • Disability
  • Necropolitics
  • Queer Liberation


  • Police Accountability
  • Other
  • LGBTQ Rights