Julia Serano

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Dr. Julia Serano
Julia Serano in 2018
Residence Oakland, California
Nationality American
Education Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biophysics from Columbia University
Employer UC Berkeley
Known for Trans and bi activism, writing, spoken word performance, biology
Notable work Whipping Girl, Excluded, Out
Website www.juliaserano.com

Julia Michelle Serano is an American writer, spoken-word performer, trans-bi activist, and biologist. She is known for her transfeminist books Whipping Girl, Excluded, and Outspoken. She has also been featured in queer, feminist, and pop-culture magazines, and she has given many talks at universities and conferences.


On her blog, SwitchHitter.net, Julia Serano said she first consciously recognized in herself a desire to be female during the late 1970s when she was 11 years old. A few years later, she began crossdressing. At first, she crossdressed secretively, but eventually she started identifying herself openly as a "male crossdresser." Serano attended her first support group for crossdressers in 1994 while living in Kansas.[1][2]

Soon afterward, Serano moved to the San Francisco Bay Area where she met her wife, Dani, in 1998. Around this time, Serano began identifying as not only a crossdresser but also as transgender and bigender. In 2001, she began medically transitioning and identifying as a trans woman.[2]


Serano sings and plays guitar at a 2018 benefit concert in San Francisco.

Serano earned her Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biophysics from Columbia University. She researched genetics and developmental and evolutionary biology at the University of California, Berkeley for seventeen years.[3][4]

Serano is the author of Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity. Her second book, Excluded: Making Feminist and Queer Movements More Inclusive, was published on September 10, 2013 by Seal Press.[5] Her third book, Outspoken: A Decade of Transgender Activism and Trans Feminism, she published herself under Switch Hitter Press,[6] which she founded along with Switch Hitter Records.[7] Outspoken is a 2017 Lambda Literary Award finalist.[8]

Her work has appeared in queer, feminist, and pop-culture magazines, including Bitch, Clamor, Kitchen Sink, LiP, make/shift, and Transgender Tapestry. Excerpts of her work have appeared in The Believer and The San Francisco Chronicle, and on NPR.[9]

Serano has spoken about transgender and trans women’s issues at numerous universities, often at queer-, feminist-, psychology-, and philosophy-themed conferences.[10][11][12][13] Her writings have also been used in teaching materials in gender studies courses across the United States.[14][15]

Serano is a slam poet, and has given spoken-word performances at universities as well as at events such as the National Queer Arts Festival, San Francisco Pride Dyke March and Trans March stages, Ladyfest, outCRY!, Femme 2006 and in The Vagina Monologues.[16] She was a guitarist and vocalist for the band Bitesize from 1997 through the early 2000s, and has also recorded solo music.[17][11]

Serano organizes and hosts GenderEnders, a performance series that features the work of transgender, intersex, and genderqueer artists and allies. It has produced 20 shows. She received a grant to curate "The Penis Issue: Trans and Intersex Women Speak Their Minds," a spoken-word event, as part of the 2007 National Queer Arts Festival.[16]


Serano reads from her book Outspoken in 2017




  1. ^ Serano, Julia. "Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity," Seal Press, 2007.
  2. ^ a b Serano, Julia. "Welcome to switch hitter dot net!". Juliaserano.com. Retrieved 2013-11-02. 
  3. ^ "Julia Serano – Transforming Care Conference". Transforming Care Conference. Retrieved 2018-03-11. 
  4. ^ McCook, Alison (May 1, 2010). "A Transforming Field". The Scientist. Retrieved March 11, 2018. 
  5. ^ Serano, Julia. "Excluded: Making Feminist and Queer Movements More Inclusive". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2013-09-17. 
  6. ^ Serano, Julia. "Outspoken: A Decade of Transgender Activism and Trans Feminism". Amazon.com. Retrieved November 15, 2016. 
  7. ^ "SWITCHHITTER.NET". www.switchhitter.net. Retrieved 2017-05-26. 
  8. ^ "29th Annual Lambda Literary Award Finalists Announced". Lambda Literary. March 14, 2017. Retrieved March 16, 2017. 
  9. ^ "Serano, Julia". Litquake. Archived from the original on 2007-11-21. Retrieved 2008-02-21. 
  10. ^ "A Social Justice Advocate's Perspective on Call Out Culture, Identity Politics, and Political Correctness – Julia Serano". University of Maine. Archived from the original on March 11, 2018. Retrieved March 11, 2018. 
  11. ^ a b Mrzljak, Romana (February 24, 2016). "Trans Activist and Writer Julia Serano to Speak at Webster University". The Vital Voice. Retrieved March 11, 2018. 
  12. ^ Zhang, Henry (February 27, 2014). "Queer Trans Conference engages with safety, policing". The Phoenix. Retrieved March 11, 2018. 
  13. ^ Gargano, Jason (November 5, 2013). "Literary: Julia Serano". CityBeat Cincinnati. Retrieved March 11, 2018. 
  14. ^ Olsen, Sarah (March 19, 2015). "Women's History Month residency to feature trans activist and biologist". Wright State Newsroom. Retrieved March 11, 2018. 
  15. ^ "OUT100: Trans Writer Julia Serano". OUT Magazine. November 11, 2014. Retrieved March 11, 2018. 
  16. ^ a b "Julia Serano Renaissance Woman!". Retrieved 2008-02-20. 
  17. ^ Serano, Julia. "Bitesize! -hammering the final nail into indie rock's coffin-". Bitesize!. Archived from the original on 2012-08-26. Retrieved 2012-08-26. 

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