Manion, professor of history and sexuality, women’s and gender studies, recently spoke with Rachel Garbus of IntoMore.com about their 2020 book Female Husbands: A Trans History, sharing “thoughts about these female husbands, the women who married them, and what these couples can tell us about queerness across the span of time.”
“The 18th and 19th centuries were full of gender nonconformity and transing in all different ways,” Manion says in Garbus’ article. “I thought the female husbands were the most original and exciting—I decided to really focus on them, to understand the trajectory of their lives.” The professor adds, “It’s possible that some, most or all of the people in my book would relate to trans identity as it’s currently defined. And it’s also possible that they wouldn’t.”
Garbus summarizes a few of the life stories and legal battles detailed in Manion’s book, and contextualizes the book in relation to the history of sexology and the work of other trans scholars.