الاحتفاء بالتنوع الجنسي نشرٌ للمعرفة لا اعتداء على هوية دينية أو قومية


بمناسبة شهر الفخر تحتفل الشركات العالمية بالتنوع الجنسي وتقوم عدد كبير منها باستبدال اللوغو الخاص بالشركة بواحد يحمل الوان الطيف كدلالة على دعمها للتنوع البشري ودعوة منها لتقبّل الآخر، أو تقوم بتطوير محتوى دعائي توعوي يحمل الرسالة ذاتها. وعلى نفس المنوال، نرى شركات تطوير المحتوى العالمية مثل نتفليكس وديزني وصناعة الأفلام في هوليوود بشكل عام تحاول رفع الوعي واظهار التنوع الطبيعي بين البشر في الشخصيّات التي تعرضها، وذلك ادراكاً منها أن ذلك يعكس صورة أقرب إلى الواقع والحقيقة من الصورة المزيّفة التي اعتدنا رؤيتها في الانتاج الثقافي في السابق.

الأمر ليس مؤامرة عالمية ولا أجندة تسيّرها جهات معيّنة للنيل من منظومة القيم العربية والإسلامية، بل هو في الحقيقة أبسط من ذلك بكثير، وفي الواقع يندرج تحت بند نشر المعرفة. وطلب المعرفة في حد ذاته قيمة إنسانية عالمية ليست حكراً على ثقافة معيّنة أو بيئة معيّنة. ولا تتعارض بأي شكل من الأشكال مع هويّة الأفراد في أمّة “إقرأ”. فالمعرفة البشرية في تطوّر مستمر، والوعي في الصفات المختلفة المكوّنة للجنسانية البشريّة والتنوّع الكبير في تلك الصفات ازداد بشكل كبير في العالم خلال السنوات الماضية.

لا يعيب الفرد أن يحكم أخلاقيّاً على أمر ما بناء على معرفة معيّنة غير مكتملة الأبعاد ولا يعيبه أن يغير حكمه الأخلاقي حين تتضح الصورة له ويتطور وعيه المعرفي، وذلك لن ينتقص من هويّته الدينية أو القومية ولا من منظومة الأخلاق التي تشكل هذه الهويّات. والأولى بنا أن نحارب اختزال الغنى الأخلاقي في هوياتنا العربية والإسلامية برفض ما نراه نتاج ثقافة أخرى.

علينا أن نعي أن الإنسان يتشكّل من مجموعة من الصفات المختلفة، آلاف من الصفات، وهذه الصفات تأتي بتنوع كبير، فلا وجود لصفة إنسانية ثنائية التجسد، لأن الشيفرة الوراثية لا تعمل بآلة رقمية لتعطينا قيمتي الصفر والواحد، بل هي أشبه بالآلة الآنالوج حيث تتم قراءة بيانات الشيفرة الوراثية وانتاج الصفات البشرية بناء على معطيات عديدة، مما يتيح تجسيدها بأنواع مختلفة لا تعد ولا تحصى. وكل صفة من هذه الصفات تحتمل ما هو مقبول في ثقافة معينة وما هو غير مرحب به، من الاختلاف في صفة لون البشرة إلى الاختلاف في طول الأفراد أو أوزانهم أو غيرها من الصفات النفسية كالانفتاح على الآخر وسرعة الغضب وطريقة التفاعل الاجتماعي وووو..

والحقيقة أن الصفات المشكلة لجنسانية الفرد تحمل نفس التنوع وهي صفات متعددة كذلك لا يمكن حصرها واختزالها في صفة واحدة. أذكر منها صفة النوع البيولوجي (الجنس) وما يحمله من تنوع نراه في حجم وأشكال الأعضاء الجنسية، وصفة النوع الاجتماعي (الجندر) وما تحمله من تنوع ثقافي وأدوار مختلفة حسب بيئة الفرد، وصفة هوية النوع الاجتماعي وما تحمله من اختلافات كبيرة بين الأفراد في شعورهم بها، صفة الميول الجنسي وطيف الميول الجنسي، وصفة التعبير عن الهوية الجنسية، وكذلك التنوع الكبير في الممارسات الجنسية والرغبات المختلفة بين الأفراد والتي تترجم بناء على تداخل معقد لكافة تلك الصفات وغيرها من الصفات غير الجنسية.

الأمر يعود إلى المعرفة، ولا خوف من المعرفة، ولا داعي للهلع من محاولة الغرب فرض انحلالهم الأخلاقي علينا. على العكس علينا بشكر هذه الشركات العالمية لمساهمتها في رفع المعرفة ودعوتها إلى الانفتاح وتقبّل الآخر واحتضان الاختلاف. وتقبّلنا لذلك لا يعني تخلينا عن هويّتنا العربية ولا هويّتنا الدينية مهما كانت هذه الهوية، بل ترسيخاً لهذه الهويّات بمبادئها الإنسانية التي ترفض النفاق وتستنكر الجهل ولا ترحب بالكراهية.

My visit to the University of Alabama


I wanted to write about this earlier but didn’t have the chance. I came back from the US last Wednesday. It was an amazing trip and I had a great time visiting the University of Alabama. It wouldn’t have happened without Cheryl Toman, Professor of French and Chair, Modern Languages and Classics. She is such a sweet heart and I am very thankful to her for inviting me.

In front of the library at The University of Alabama

It all started two years ago, in early 2020 when Cheryl messaged me on Facebook, telling me that she is teaching The Bride of Amman to her students at the University of Alabama in a special course about women in literature. I was thrilled to know this and she was planning to take her students on a trip to Jordan. She asked me if I will be there and meet them. Unfortunately that trip didn’t happen as we were hit with covid. But then fast forward till last summer in July 2021 when I did my book signing for the French version of the book L’Epouse D’Amman, I was surprised to see her attending the event. I was pleased to meet her in person and we had a chat during the event where she asked me if I’d be interested to visit the University and talk to her students who read the book. I said YES please! and she made it happen.

With Arabic language Students at University of Alabama

I spent 4 amazing days in Tuscaloosa. Cheryl made sure to arrange for a full schedule with students, chairs, professors and lecturers in other departments too. I was blessed to meet so many wonderful people. We started the first day with a talk to students learning Arabic. And I was happy to meet Manasar Al Harethi, lecturer of Arabic, who moved to the US from Saudi Arabia. It was followed by a lunch with Cheryl and Chair of English department, Steve Trout (such a nice guy). And in the afternoon, same day, I met Myles Williamson, a PhD students in the political science department, who is writing his dissertation about global transgender rights. I had such a nice talk with Myles over coffee and was pleased to hear his thoughts about the topic. Later on at night, I was honored to meet the Waleed Hazbun, Professor of Middle Easter Studies, who is mentoring Myles, and generously contributed to the funds that made this trip happen. We met at a nice restaurant where we had a nice dinner with him, his partner Michelle Woodward (managing editor of MERIP/Middle East Report), and his political science colleague Holger Albrecht and his partner Dina Bishara (both teach politics of the Middle East, Dina now teaches at Cornell). I was happy to meet all of them.

A private talk with gender and race department students
A group photo with Utz Mcknight and Cheryl Toman and students of gender and race

I have to admit that the second day at the University was my favorite one. It was the day dedicated to the students of Gender and Race department. I can’t tell you enough how much I enjoyed talking to everyone in this department. Chair of department, Utz Mcknight, is such a wonderful and warm man. He makes everyone comfortable and at ease, and I could see his love and passion towards gender and race and how he embraces his students and empower them. I enjoyed in particular the first session he planned for us, a private talk with the students of the department at the Anderson room. We spent around two hours and had a wonderful and open discussion about gender and race and me and my writings. It was followed by a public talk in LIoyed Hall, which I wasn’t prepared for, but he thankfully tipped me on how to handle it. He said, “use this space the way you like. You can ask the audience for help if you want”. And this is what I did. As I am working on the sequel for Heaven on Earth, my narrator and protagonist is genderless. And since the sequel is set after 100 years from now, I asked the audience about how they see the future of gender. We ended up having a wonderful discussion about the future, all of the recent advances in technology and their potential effect on us. And I got many good insights to help me progress with the book.

Dinner at FIVE restaurant with students from gender and race department.

The day ended with a nice dinner and informal talk with the students of the department where Utz made sure I mingle with all of them. He was monitor the time and my location, and every few minutes, he kept on reminding that I need to switch table. Thanks to him, it was a memorable night.

I don’t want to forget to mention that Cheryl didn’t forget to hook me up with other professors during the lunches and I was honored to meet Alicia Cipria, Spanish Professor and Allesandra Montalbano, Italian professor in second day. And also Gina Stamm and Jennifer Car, French Professors, in third day. Amazing women, all of them.

We were looking forward to the last day as it was the day dedicated to Cheryl’s students who actually read the book. Cheryl planned two sessions, one for the students who read the book in English and the other one for those who read it in French. Unfortunately, the French class didn’t happen as we had a tornado warning. The University had to close early and everyone was advised to go and stay home that evening. Nevertheless, it was a great session with those students who read the book in English. I was so pleased to hear their feedback and answer their questions. Such smart students, full of curiosity and passion. I was happy to hear from them about their insights on women and gender from their own surroundings. We forgot to take photos from this session but you can find more photos of my US trip on my Instagram account.

It was an unforgettable visit. I had a great time and loved everyone I met. Despite the mainstream thinking of Alabama as a conservative state, the University is such a progressive heaven. I loved every moment of my stay there.

L’homosexualité dans le roman arabe : le triomphe de la moquerie


I like this article entitled “Homosexuality and the Arab Novel”, originally posted on Arablit blog by Marcia Lynx Qualey in English in 2015 and now translated and posted in French by Etienne Gomez.

Translator's Lodge

Par Marcia Lynx Qualey

L’Épouse d’Amman, traduit de l’arabe par Davide Knecht, L’Asiathèque, 2021.

Le premier roman du blogueur Fadi Zaghmout,L’Épouse d’Amman, en 2012, a été un événement bienvenu.

Pas seulement le roman, d’ailleurs, mais aussi le brio avec lequel Fadi Zaghmout l’a présenté dans les médias. Nadia Muhanna évoque ainsi sur son blog une interview à la télévision jordanienne quelques mois après la publication. La présentatrice ayant qualifié un personnage gay deshaz, Fadi Zaghmout a corrigé ce terme offensant par «muthley». À la fin de l’interview, la présentatrice utilisait un «vocabulaire plus inclusif».

Le roman cadencé de Fadi Zaghmout, traduit en français par Davide Knecht (2021), sert un projet social autant que littéraire, plaidant sans radicalité pour une plus grande liberté sexuelle et de genre. La lecture donne le sentiment que le plus important pour l’auteur n’était pas tant d’écrire un grand…

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Madian Al Jazerah memoir is a tale of hope in a world of colliding identities. A must read!


Are you this? or are you this?: a story of identity and worth.

When Madian’s agent Lara from Hurst Publishers approached me in early April to provide a book blurb for this superb memoir of Madian, I felt honored. I knew Madian for a long time, and I consider him a good dear friend. I have always respected him and looked up to him for what he did for the gay community in Amman. To be chosen as one of the few people to provide a book blurb for his book meant a lot to me.

I was intrigued to know more about this great man and expected a good read, but once I started reading, I could’t stop. It was a draft version of the book that I read on my phone screen, and it hooked me till I finished it. It wasn’t only a good read but a great one.

Few days later I emailed Lara the blurb, which she thankfully edited to appear at the back cover of the book as:

This is the story of a great man, full of emotions, pride, dignity and determination. A tale of hope in a world of colliding identities; a must-read!’

Fadi Zaghmout, blogger and author of ‘The Bride of Amman’
Back cover of the book

These two lines of-course don’t do it justice, as it is much more than that. Madian takes us on an emotional journey of a man who is as delicate as a flower and as strong as a rock. A man who grew up in a world of colliding identities, carrying them over his shoulders, molding them into a beautiful mix, and riding them to turn every ugly incident he faces in his life into a colorful ray of light. Madian grew up as a Palestinian in Kuwait, a moderate Muslim in world that have seen Islam drift into extremism, and a gay man in a homophobic surrounding.

The combination of these three identity pillars might not be an exclusive identity to this man, but the way he handled it and lived it, is what makes his story gripping. There is an undeniable tone of pride in Madian’s words. He is a man of integrity and love, and his human side shows in every decision he takes along his life journey.

What makes this read enjoyable is that it is honest and intimate. Madian doesn’t shy from telling personal stories related to him, his family and his close friends. He talks about his life in Kuwait, and what meant for him to grow up in a country that he doesn’t hold its citizenship. How the security of his childhood home gets shattered when Iraq invades Kuwait, forcing him and his family to move to a different country. How he ends up living in a country where he holds its citizenship yet it is not the country of his origins. How he faced his own fears and came to terms with his sexuality. And how he navigated all this misfortune by holding onto the anchor of the loving family he has.

He might not have always made the best decisions, and at times, he let fear guide him, but he has also shown much talent, and it is here where we can see his utmost pride. Most of us know him from the haven he created in Amman – Books@cafe. The first internet cafe in the region that grew to be a hub for tolerance and acceptance. A place that shaped Amman in the past 20 years and empowered many of us to stand up and fight the exclusionary culture that tainted our lives.

Are you this? Or are you this?” might be the active expression his mother used when she asked him about his sexual preference. A reflection of how mainstream thinking in Jordan and around the world used to define what is an acceptable sexual behavior and what is not. But the title is more than that, and the story is more than that. It is the story of all of us, of how we tend to categories and place people into neat boxes to complete and perfect our views of the world around us. We feel comfort with simple stories, black and white ones that either accept people or reject them. We tend to ignore the complexity of the human condition and focus on one simple characteristic – are you this? or are you this?

The world is full of choices, and the nature of things are seldom binary. If you are to choose today, I’d advise you to choose to read this book. It is an emotional enjoyable read and there is much to learn from Madian and his life.

I wanted to be one of the first to review this book. Hope you enjoyed reading it.

The book is out for orders. You can order your copy now from publisher’s website directly by clicking here.

L’Epouse d’Amman is out in French!


Originally released in Arabic in 2012, “Arous Amman عروس عمّان“، was deemed controversial for it depiction of a main gay character and support of women’s sexual freedoms and body rights in Jordan. For me, it was a work of activism where I combined stories of people I know, events I witnessed, scenes I developed, and narratives I have discussed for years on this blog.

Best Seller Virgin Megastore Amman 2015

I was pretty much happy about its success, and overwhelmed with people’s reactions. From women calling me and thanking me for expressing their feelings, women who felt empowered after reading it, other women who endured same situation of different characters and gay men thanking me for helping them accepting their sexuality. It was like talking about the elephant in the room, everyone wanted to talk about “Arous Amman“, and they wanted others to read it. It was our story and it spread fast, getting sold out in few months, a second print release in October by Jabal Amman Publishers, and hitting the top 10 best sellers of Jamalon’s that year.

The book’s success wasn’t only local, and soon after, Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp was in a trip to Amman where she picked it up and loved it. She contacted me, asking me for permission to translate and excerpt to submit to Words Without Borders Magazine, which she did. I was happy with her translation and recommended her when I talked to Marshall Moore from Signal8Press who was interested in getting the book translated and published in English.

Gays the world bookshop London

The English translation of “The Bride of Amman” was released in 2015, and Ruth arranged for me a great launch schedule in the UK. She did a great job in marketing the book when it first came out, and contributed to its exposure and success big time. The book seen success in English as much as it did in its Arabic version, getting a wider audience and being added to the reading list of students in different universities around the world.

Like Ruth, Davide Knecht, read the book few years back and he approached me stating his interest in translating it to Italian. At the time he couldn’t secure an Italian publisher, but he was able to secure a French one – L’asiatheque. I was happy to sign with them, and after two years of work, the book is finally out in French as L’Epouse d’Amman. And like Ruth, Dave has been doing a great job in promoting the book. The publisher as well did a great job in getting the book out in an amazing shape, securing the rights for the a brilliant mural painted by the famous German artist Akut. A huge mural located in Downtown Amman, with a message to promote gender equality. Entitled “We are one“, a perfect match to L’Epouse d’Amman.

We are one mural – downtown Amman
Copies of L’Epouse d’Amman

Davide connected me with an Italian publisher too who was interested in the book last year but plans were put on hold due to Covid-19 situation. Other translators have approached me over the years to translate the book to German and Spanish, but nothing came out of it yet. I hope the release of the book in French would open the doors to other translations in the coming years.

The book has its way to success, and seems to have a magical appeal around it. I am so grateful for everyone contributed to its success.

Thank you.

7 years passed, still a best seller – Aroos Amman (The Bride of Amman)


Yesterday, an old time friend of mine, took a photo for “Aroos Amman” (The Bride of Amman” that shows the book in the best selling section of DNA Lifestyle Store in Al Abdali Mall.

I was happy to receive the photo and rushed to share it on all of my social media channels. The fact that “Aroos Amman” keeps on appearing in best selling lists after 7 years of its release, speaks volume. This is not the first time or place for it to be a best seller, in fact it was one of the top best selling books on Jamalon in 2012, the year it got released. It continuously appears in the best selling books section in the famous Jordanian bookstore “Reader”. It has been a best seller and a “recommended to read” at Virgin megastore for months. The audio version, made it to the most listened books list on storytel and the ebook is part of Abjjad’s all time most read books!

In Virgin Megastore Amman

The book been translated and published to English in 2015, and currently is getting translated into the French language, planned to be released next year.

Jamalon best selling list 2012

It has opened so many door to me, including securing an MA scholarship from the British Council to study in the UK in 2012. Invitation to different conferences and events in global cities from London, to Berlin, Salzburg and Pune

I have always wondered about the reason behind the success of this book. Why it ticks with so many people? It was my first to write, even before doing my MA in Creative Writing and Critical Thinking. It wasn’t perfectly crafted, and critics would point out the simplicity of its language or the shortages of the plot. Yet, it keeps generating strong reactions that surprises me till today, not just from my fellow Jordanians whom I mainly address in the book, but also from Arabs and foreigners from different countries.

For me it was a work of activism and I am more than happy to see it reach such heights. I wanted the voices of my characters to be heard, and they got heard. I wanted to give our youth hope, and for many I did. I remember a gay guy once told me that he keeps the book with him all the time, and place it next to his best when he goes to sleep as he feels protected by having it close by. That’s something I am so proud to hear. I remember a young woman once sending me a long letter stating how empowered she feels after reading the book and promising to stand up for her self and her rights. That’s also something I am so proud of. Even yesterday, after posting the photo of the book in the best selling list, I received a message from a guy who said it is his favorite book ever and that he remembers how he skipped his university classes and stayed home super excited to read it.

رواية عروس عمان بين الكتب الأكثر مبيعا في مكتبة ريدرز
Readers Bookshop

I don’t know what the magic in “Aroos Amman”. Maybe it has to do with giving a voice to a gay man that hasn’t been heard of in our society before, or hearing a Jordanian woman standing up to her body rights and sexuality, or maybe its magnifying our issues of gender and heavy social heritage, and showing how they have been affecting our lives negatively. I always say, I wrote it from my heart, and maybe that’s what made it tick. And I guess, thats what others see in it, like what a friend commented yesterday on the Instagram image, stating that it is successful because it is “honest” and “different”.

Thank you for all of the honest and different people who supported me and supported this book into such success. Hopefully we will seeing it reaching more people and maybe soon we will watch it as a movies on the big screens.. fingers crossed!

London launch for The Bride of Amman

The choice: A letter to my mother, and everyone else


A dear brave gay friend of mine came out to his mother two months ago. He wrote this touching letter and asked me to published it on my blog:

The choice: A letter to my mother, and everyone else.

You choose to be gay, and you can “unchoose” it.

Do we choose to cast disappointment on those we love the most?

Do we choose to rob ourselves from the look of love and pride our parents reserve for our siblings who marry their opposite sex?

Do we choose to worry about what the next door neighbours will think and if they’ll report us to the police?

Do we choose to uproot ourselves from everything we know and lived with, every single time a government cracks down on us and we seek refuge somewhere else, amongst foreigners who never saw us battle through our lives since our childhood?

Do we choose to not get married right now because the country we live in doesn’t recognize our union, and one of us has a passport that doesn’t allow us to rest our tired souls on its soil, unless we get married somewhere else, away from everyone that have witnessed our birth and childhood?

Do we choose to worry about, if one of us gets sick and needs rushing to the hospital, what story we’d come up with about the nature of our relationship to the nurse and doctors?

Do we choose to worry about the people who always see us together, grocery shopping, going to the gym, checking in at hotels and ordering a king size bed?

Do we choose to have to delete any of our endearing messages and photographs on our phone should we detained at the airport security offices, in fear that we’d be put in hal and deported?

Do we choose to turn our backs on those we thought love us without any boundaries, because all they us to be is like the rest?

Do we choose to run to every single grave we know, asking their inhabitants if indeed Hell is reserved for us?

We choose to live through it all, because at the end of the day, our love for each other, and for our own selves, is worth it. This is the choice we make. Every single second of every single day.

My Kali Interview, Celebrity of the week and Alef book club


Photo shoot My Kali Magazine

Photo shoot My Kali Magazine

It feels good to see the buzz of Arous Amman is still going through the country after more than two years of its debut. On thursday, I was hosted by Lama Zakharia for her radio show “Celebrity of the Week” on Beat FM. The interview was great, went super smooth with Lama being smart, spontaneous and professional as her audience know her. I am a big fan of her myself since I saw her performing last year in the Christmas’s musical of Dozan Awtar. I have also posted a while ago a video for her fighting sexual harassment by singing. She has an amazing voice and great talent. Watch out for her next projects. My interview will be aired next Thursday.

My interview with my kali magazine is published today after  much anticipation. These guys are really talented. We are blessed to have such artistic styled magazine in Jordan. The write-up is really good from the mutli-talented Mike Derderian. Mike is another one to admire, he is an artist who produces amazing illustrations, he is a brilliant writer and a great radio show host as well.  Along with the interview, my kali ran a stylised photo shoot for me. The photographs was taken by the wonderful Hiba Juda, make up by Amer Atta, hair by Ahmad Al Sa’ady, the making of video by Ala’a Abu Qasheh, and the cover/promo design by Atef Daglees. I feel so blessed to get to know all of these talented people. I also would like to dedicate a special thank you to Kali himself for putting the efforts into sustaining this magazine.

I like the smart headline of the interview “Here Comes the Groom!” in reference to me, the one behind the brides in Arous Amman.  And from the interview, I specially like these few lines:

Of course, don’t just take my word for it! It is a brilliant social commentary on an Arabian society filled with mothers, daughters and sisters; working women; married women; divorced women; women pursuing academia; sexually active women; and forlorn spinsters dreaming of the perfect Arab catch. Of course it also sheds light on the misogynistic Arab man; the oppressive father; the married man; the cheating husband; and the self-righteous cousin, who is looking for an excuse to burst the bubble of any of the over-achieving females in his tribe. The main controversy surrounding Aroos Amman most probably erupted from within the pages of the chapter in which a man thinks aloud after making love; making love to another man. I have to admit it was a shocking instance to read in a book written by an Arab Jordanian writer; almost as shocking as the rape scene in Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction, back in 1994.

I also had a very nice discussion around Arous Amman with Alef book club at the Good Bookshop. The discussion was complimented with a homosexuality debate. Before the debate started I had the chance to give a short presentation about gender and sexuality.  The issue was discussed openly from social, scientific and religious perspective. The event was organised very well and the crowd were respectful and polite. I was pretty much impressed by those youth (around 40 from both genders) discussing such matter openly and logically with full respect to each other opinion. At one point there was a veiled girl arguing against homosexuality talking closely to an openly gay man. Both were addressing their points of view genuinely with no sense of hatred towards each other. When the crowd were asked if they are with giving homosexuals their rights, most of them raised their hands in agreement! That’s something one doesn’t expect to happen in Jordan where a recent stat shows that 97% that society shouldn’t accept homosexuality! My Kali videoed the whole event, they should be posting it soon. I would also like to seize the chance and thank Tarek Abdo and Sanad Nowar for running this book club and organisation this event. That is courageous of them to tackle such issue.

Through Arous Amman I got to know about many book clubs in Jordan. I am happy to see these book clubs growing everywhere. I have to admit, Alef has just became one of my favourites. I wish them all the best.

One last good news, we are almost run out of copies of the 2nd edition of Arous Amman and will be working on a new print.

Tipping the Velvet: The axis of powers shaping Nancy’s gender identity


Gender is the repeated stylization of the body, a set of repeated acts within a highly rigid regulatory frame that congeal over time to produce the Subjects of Sex/Gender/Desire appearance of substance, of a natural sort of being.

Judith Butler – Gender Trouble

Tipping the Velvet

Tipping the Velvet

Sarah Walter’s lesbian romance novel ‘Tipping the Velvet’ takes us into an exhilarating journey of Nancy’s playful sexuality. It crosses the boundaries of the strictly heteronormative society of a Victorian England during the 1890s and shows the fluidity of gender in the context of different regulatory frames of desire, culture and class.

Walters divides the book into three major parts of Nancy’s life. Each part unfolds in a set of different events that helps shape Nancy’s fluctuated gender. She examines Nancy’s gender transformation against the powerful drive of desire, performativity, language, melancholia and class. In the first part she introduces Nancy to the world of male impersonators through the character of Kitty the performer, in the second part she examines the power of class in shaping gender expressions through the character of the rich woman Diana, and in the last part she places a matured Nancy into a world of philanthropy and social activism through the character of Florence.

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