Haitian American feminist and lesbian activist MilDred Gerestant has become one of the most acclaimed gender performers who best illustrates the malleability of gender, race and sexuality in the reconstruction of black queer identities. Drawing on interdisciplinary theoretical frameworks like trauma studies, queer theory and affect theory, my contribution analyses MilDred’s gender performances as creative attempts to surpass negative affects often attached to minority identities. By exploring the affect of shame as a productive enactment of transformation and hope, rather than as a source of numbness and suffering, this article aims to offer an alternative epistemological paradigm of feminist feeling and thinking, thus challenging mainstream discourses of identity and affective normalcy.

Author Biography

Maite Escudero-Alías is tenured lecturer in the Department of English and German Philology at the University of Zaragoza (Spain), where she teaches 19th century British Literature. She has published widely on her main research interests, which range from feminism and queer theory to trauma studies and affect theory.