Julia Serano

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Julia Serano
Serano in 2018
Born1967 (age 54–55)
EducationPhiladelphia University
PhD in biochemistry and molecular biophysics from Columbia University (1995)
EmployerUC Berkeley (2003–2012)
Known forTrans and bi activism, coining the term "subconscious sex", criticism of Blanchard's transsexualism typology, writing, spoken word performance, biology
Notable work
Whipping Girl, Excluded, Outspoken

Julia Michelle Serano (/səˈræn/; born 1967)[1] is an American writer, musician, spoken-word performer, transbi activist, and biologist. She is known for her transfeminist books Whipping Girl (2007), Excluded (2013), and Outspoken (2016). She is also a prolific public speaker who has given many talks at universities and conferences, and her writing is frequently featured in queer, feminist, and popular culture magazines.


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 she eventually started identifying herself openly as a "male crossdresser." Serano attended her first support group for crossdressers in 1994 while she lived in Kansas.[2][3]

Soon afterward, Serano moved to the San Francisco Bay Area where she met her wife, Dani, in 1998. Around then, Serano began identifying as not only crossdressing but also transgender and bigender. In 2001, she began medically transitioning and identifying as a trans woman.[3]


Julia Serano speaks at the GLBT History Museum in San Francisco for the launch of the second edition of Whipping Girl.

Serano earned her PhD in biochemistry and molecular biophysics from Columbia University. She researched genetics and developmental and evolutionary biology at the University of California, Berkeley for 17 years.[4][5]

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.[6] Her third book, Outspoken: A Decade of Transgender Activism and Trans Feminism, she published herself under Switch Hitter Press,[7] which she founded along with Switch Hitter Records.[8] Outspoken is a 2017 Lambda Literary Award finalist.[9] Her 2020 book, 99 Erics: a Kat Cataclysm faux novel, also published by Switch Hitter, won the Publishing Triangle’s 2021 Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction[10] and was an Independent Publisher Book Awards 2021 silver medalist in LGBT+ Fiction.[11]

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.[12]

Serano has spoken about transgender and trans women's issues at numerous universities, often at queer-, feminist-, psychology-, and philosophy-themed conferences.[13][14][15][16] Her writings have also been used in teaching materials in gender studies courses across the United States.[17][18]

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.[19] She was a guitarist and vocalist for the band Bitesize from 1997 through the early 2000s and has also recorded solo music.[20][14]

Serano organizes and hosts GenderEnders, a performance series that features the work of transgender, intersex, and genderqueer artists and allies that 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.[19]

She writes social justice articles on the website Medium. She frequently writes about topics like transgender identity, LGBTQ+ visibility, and identity within politics.[21][22]


Serano reads from her book Outspoken in 2017


  • Either/Or. Switch Hitter Press. 2002. OCLC 58926464.
  • Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity. Seal Press. 2007. ISBN 9781580051545. OCLC 81252738.
  • Serano, Julia (2013). Excluded: Making Feminist and Queer Movements More Inclusive. ISBN 978-1580055048.
  • Outspoken: A Decade of Transgender Activism and Trans Feminism. Switch Hitter Press. November 2, 2016. ISBN 978-0996881005.
  • 99 Erics: A Kat Cataclysm Faux Novel. Switch Hitter Press. 2020. ISBN 978-0996881043.



  1. ^ Nadia Abushanab Higgins, Feminism: Reinventing the F-Word, Twenty-First Century Books, 2016, p. 99.
  2. ^ Serano, Julia. "Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity," Seal Press, 2007.
  3. ^ a b Serano, Julia. "Welcome to switch hitter dot net!". Juliaserano.com. Retrieved November 2, 2013.
  4. ^ "Julia Serano – Transforming Care Conference". Transforming Care Conference. Retrieved March 11, 2018.
  5. ^ McCook, Alison (May 1, 2010). "A Transforming Field". The Scientist. Retrieved March 11, 2018.
  6. ^ Serano, Julia (October 2013). Excluded: Making Feminist and Queer Movements More Inclusive. ISBN 978-1580055048.
  7. ^ Serano, Julia (2016). Outspoken: A Decade of Transgender Activism and Trans Feminism. ISBN 978-0996881005.
  8. ^ "SWITCHHITTER.NET". switchhitter.net. Retrieved May 26, 2017.
  9. ^ "29th Annual Lambda Literary Award Finalists Announced". Lambda Literary. March 14, 2017. Retrieved March 16, 2017.
  10. ^ "Here are the Winners of the 2021 Publishing Triangle Awards". Publishing Triangle. May 12, 2021. Retrieved June 10, 2021.
  11. ^ "2021 Independent Publisher Book Awards Results". Independent Publisher. Retrieved June 10, 2021.
  12. ^ "Serano, Julia". Litquake. Archived from the original on November 21, 2007. Retrieved February 21, 2008.
  13. ^ "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.
  14. ^ 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.
  15. ^ Zhang, Henry (February 27, 2014). "Queer Trans Conference engages with safety, policing". The Phoenix. Retrieved March 11, 2018.
  16. ^ Gargano, Jason (November 5, 2013). "Literary: Julia Serano". CityBeat Cincinnati. Retrieved March 11, 2018.
  17. ^ Olsen, Sarah (March 19, 2015). "Women's History Month residency to feature trans activist and biologist". Wright State Newsroom. Retrieved March 11, 2018.
  18. ^ "OUT100: Trans Writer Julia Serano". OUT Magazine. November 11, 2014. Retrieved March 11, 2018.
  19. ^ a b "Julia Serano Renaissance Woman!". Retrieved February 20, 2008.
  20. ^ Serano, Julia. "Bitesize! -hammering the final nail into indie rock's coffin-". Bitesize!. Archived from the original on August 26, 2012. Retrieved August 26, 2012.
  21. ^ "Julia Serano - Medium". Medium. Retrieved January 24, 2020.
  22. ^ Lopez, German (August 9, 2016). "The debate about transgender children and "detransitioning" is really about transphobia". Vox. Retrieved January 24, 2020.

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