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Dean Spade on LGBT Politics

By Christal Ramanauskas for the Exposure Festival Edmonton 10.09

By Christal Ramanauskas for the Exposure Festival Edmonton 10.09

Dean Spade is a brilliant organizer, creative teacher and effective leader in the grassroots social justice movement. He is currently Assistant Professsor at the University of Seattle School of Law. He is a member of Transforming Justice, an organization that works on transgender, gender variant and gender nonconforming people affected by the prison-criminal-detention systems. He is a founder of the Sylvia Rivera Law Project in 2002.

Dean is a ferociously clear and critical thinker about the economy, the detention apparatus in the US, the neo-liberal state, immigrant rights, the limitations of the politics of identity and of the current racial and gender politics in the LGBT movement, among other matters. Dean’s work has been published mostly in law journals and is available on his site ( but here, I want to highlight some video links and excerpts to Dean’s recent talks.

I encourage everyone to listen to this full lecture given at Yale Law School in 2010 and titled “Beyond Recognition,” delivered on February 8, 2010.

Here is a video link to the talk:

Here is a link to the audio podcast of the talk.

Dean on trans-politics and the focus on anti-discrimination laws alone.Talk at the Silver Platter, Los Angeles in 2009.

DEAN SPADE AT SILVER PLATTER (5min excerpt) from wutsang on Vimeo.

From a talk Dean gave at Barnard college on February 9, 2009 titled “Trans Politics on a Neoliberal landscape”

From a panel in Seattle opposing construction of a new jail there in January of 2009. On sexual and gender violence and prisons as a tool of social control.


  1. […] listened to the Yale Law School lecture by Dean Spade on “the limitations of current popular legal equality demands emerging under […]

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