In my research and writing I have incurred many debts. First among these
is to my advisor Bambi Schieffelin, without whose insights and friendship I
would never even have started out on this project, and certainly would not
have finished it. Bambi is responsible for the length of these acknowl-
edgments, for she taught me, among many other things, that scholarship
should never be a lonely endeavor and I have taken her at her word.
Among my many other teachers, I need to express special gratitude to Faye
Ginsburg and Lila Abu-Lughod for their acute observations and constant
encouragement. I am moreover deeply indebted to Don Kulick for turning
me into an anthropologist in the first place, and for putting me back on
course time after time. My thanks also go to Steven Gregory, Shirley Lind-
enbaum, Owen Lynch, and Fred Myers for their ongoing interest in and
support of this project.
Beyond my graduate school teachers, the list of thanks is long indeed.
First, my research could not have taken the form it did without the help of
Dr. Barbara Warren of the lgbt Community Center in New York City,
who took me on as a staff member, provided me resources, and listened to
what I had to say. Rosalyne Blumenstein, who was then director of the
Center’s Gender Identity Project (gip), became my friend, my teacher, and
a facilitator of my research. I am also indebted to several key participants
who shared so much with me during my fieldwork. Without the constant
questioning and good humor of Riki Anne Wilchins, this would only be
half a book. Riki’s querying of the assumptions that inform projects such
as mine, and our long conversations, were central to the development of
my ideas even though we also disagreed at times. Cindy Shuster, and the
entire Tribe of Cindys, was an enormous influence and I can never thank
her enough for her friendship and help. Eden Miller has been a stalwart
and a reminder of the possibilities for both human resilience and fun. Both
Nora Molina and Melissa Sklarz, peer counselors at gip at the time of my
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