This paper introduces the transgender Middle Ages, and responds to the questions: what are they? and why do they matter? Narratives about pregnant people in medieval French (Aucassin et Nicolette and Le Roman de saint Fanuel) and modern English (A.K. Summers’ graphic novel Pregnant Butch: Nine long months spent in drag (2014)) serve as case studies. The paper undertakes a cross-temporal investigation of pregnancy as a flashpoint both for concern about gender, and for the reinforcement of gender norms. I will demonstrate how medieval trans studies forges dynamic connections with the past that allow us to reimagine and better comprehend our experiences in the present, and create what Carolyn Dinshaw has described as ‘communities across time’.
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