The Neurosurgeon

Hello everyone, I am pleased to announce the upcoming publication of my first book in translation. The Neurosurgeon by Cuban author Michel Estrada will be published by Floricanto Press in October 2020.

Cuban author Michel Estrada, from the countryside of Pinar del Rio, has a tremendous imagination and strong determination. Despite admittedly being an academic “disaster” in his formative years as a student who struggled with arts and letters—gravitating instead towards mathematics and computer technology at Havana University—he has become quite a prolific author. After becoming disappointed with his chosen path, he decided to expand his limited transnational cultural awareness beyond the boundaries of the island nation and spread the tentacles of his imagination through literature. His quixotic literary odyssey began as he feasted on a delicious array of the world’s most memorable works of fiction. Inspired with what he encountered; he began to write. His first three novels did not satisfy the expectations of publishers in Cuba. They told him he still had much to learn. Nevertheless, Estrada remained undaunted and kept writing. After six novels and many rejections abroad, Latina Instinct became his first international success. He has since written a movie script. His latest novel, The Neurosurgeon, is a testament to the power of an imaginative desire which materializes through diligence and perseverance. Estrada’s narratives not only stimulate the mind’s ear, but its visual cortex as well.

The Philly Trans Wellness Conference

The Philly Trans Wellness Conference (previously Philly Trans Health Conference) just announced the program for this August, including a group discussion led by me and a colleague about trans self-expression in Spanish:

Thank you to Ártemis López for sending the information. We are passing it along to our members.


Publishing opportunity for Transgender Studies translators

There is a magazine that has put out a call for submissions of translation through print publishers that feature translated texts (literary interviews, historical, poetic, journalistic, legal decisions, etc.) so pretty wide array of possible texts will be considered that have to do with the transgendered experience “in some significant way.”

Here is the link for anyone in our collective that might be interested.

Thank you David Gramling for passing along the information.


What will the blog be about?

Hello, this is Jon D Jaramillo. I just wanted to say that this blog space will grow as the collective gains members and traction. This blog will be the place where readers will find the contributions of our various collaborators, such as, news, forthcoming events, testimonials, book reviews, translation reviews, ideas about queer(ing) translation, theoretical considerations, and examples of how to make queer lives visible in translation. The end game is the formation of an archive of queer(ing) translation theoretical traditions.

The Translation of the Self Across Time

By Grace Picante (a pseudonym)

I have known Grace for a number of years. She has been a dear colleague and intellectual interlocutor that has assisted me immeasurably by proofreading my translations. When I sent her the announcement about the launching of this site, she read the blog post I created called “What does the word queer mean anyway?” She wrote to me and told me that it reminded her of a time when she was attending a university, finishing her undergraduate degree, and there was so much talk about gender identity. She told me that she felt confused about all the terms and what they meant, so over time she went online and looked up Wikipedia entries to try and make sense of it all. She also wondered if she would find among those entries a description of her own sense of self. In that email, she went on to share some intimate details about herself, things I never would have imagined had crossed her mind. I was so impressed with what she shared that I asked her if she would be willing to share a part of it with our readers. She said, “Yes!” provided that we publish it with a pseudonym. It is an honor to be able to bring this story to you all, a story we have entitled, Translation of the Self Across Time. Please let us know your thoughts by commenting below. We invite you to dialogue with us.

My own identity journey evolved with unpredictable plot twists. At the age of four, the spirit of my deceased brother showed up as my constant companion. At times I was not sure where he ended and I began. I also heard the calm male voice of my spiritual guide then..

By age six, as a shy white girl living in suburbia, I fully accepted that I would be raised by the guide as a Plains Indian boy in a tribe of one. Feeling socially awkward in dresses, I could hardly wait to get home from school, put on jeans and play in the woods. I focused on my inner world, but also felt that the problems of the outer were somehow my responsibility. The invisible entity continued to watch over me through years of intense loneliness and anger (which thankfully I was able to fully overcome).

At eleven, fully expecting to become a man, I began intentionally lowering my voice. For about a year, guttural native-sounding chants poured out of my being, and then abruptly stopped. I figured I must be channeling the Lenni Lenape who had once walked those same Eastern woods. At twelve, the guide told me it was time to leave the woods, and find a way to be socially comfortable in the world. Although this was a difficult request, I accepted the challenge and obeyed. This was followed by a vivid dream/vision in which I was a confident Hindu girl ornately dressed for her wedding. Years later, I would understand that some of my past lives have apparently been a part of the present one. In any case, this exalted image of the feminine allowed me to fully embrace a new possibility. Initially I felt strong in this new identity, until at fourteen it was disrupted when I realized that from then on, males would mostly treat me as an object; more interested in my female body than my mind. Cut off from returning to the innocence of being either a girl or a boy, but needing to grow up, for decades I continued in a reluctant, mostly female, identity. It seemed necessary to hold back my full, true self in order to fit in socially.

There are too many chapters to tell between then and now, but I have arrived again at a similar place as I did at age seventeen, happily celibate after feeling unfulfilled from too many shallow relationships, strongly focused on an inner spiritual life with outward service to the people in my surroundings, and not feeling particularly female or male.

Now I feel more comfortable in my skin and in my soul. AMEN.