The setting for Leslie Feinberg’s Stone Butch Blues is New York State in the late 1960s and tells the story of Jess
Goldberg, a “stone butch” lesbian who later begins to transition to male through the use of hormone
replacement. This was a time of great social change in the United States: protests against the Vietnam War were·
common; racial tension peaked, with marches and riots advocating African-American civil rights taking place
across the country; sweeping changes in music, including Woodstock, filled the airwaves; and the issue of equal
rights for women was often a part of the nightly broadcast news and daily newspapers. However, there was
relatively little news coverage of the Stonewall Riots in New York City in late June, 1969. The riots would
eventually be regarded as the spark that ignited the Gay Rights Movement, giving rise to the Human Rights
Campaign and Marriage Equality movement. First published in 1993, Stone Butch Blues is considered by many to
be the first serious piece of American “transgender” literature.
Coincidentally, the novel, Breakfast on Pluto, by Patrick McCabe, takes place in Ireland at about the same time in
the 1960s to 1970s, when the three-decade long period of time known as “The Troubles” began. Breakfast on
Pluto tells the story of a transgender woman by the name of Patrick “Pussy” Braden during ”The Troubles”, which
was a particularly tumultuous and dangerous period in Northern Ireland’s history and its struggle for
independence from Great Britain. The book was first published in 1998 and was a huge success, almost winning
the 1998 Booker Prize (the top prize for literature in Great Britain).
Instructions -Assignment 4: 20 points, due Thursday, 14 November 2013
As you read Stone Butch Blues, briefly describe the ways that at least 5 different events or scenes challenge and
help shape Jess Goldberg’s identity. Include the chapter numbers.
Instructions -Assignment 5: 20 points, due Thursday, 28 November 2013
As you read Breakfast on Pluto, briefly describe the ways that at least 5 different events or scenes challenge and
help shape “Pussy” Braden’s identity. Include the chapter numbers.
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