Queer Black trans politics offer an important frame for understanding the current constitutional moment. This is a moment in which the Supreme Court’s newly enthroned constitutional originalist project is taking off in ways that have race, sex, sexuality, and trans equality rights in its sights. Thinking with queer Black trans politics—and, in particular, their demands for intersectionality and for centering Black trans lives—this Essay presents a distinctive topology of LGBTQ rights and their intersections with constitutional race and sex guarantees. It considers how a queer Black trans-focused intersectional thinking plays out, including in the context of reproductive rights, and traces how intersectionality isn’t only being used by progressives in pro-racial justice directions, but also by social conservatives in regressive ways that warrant attention in anti-racist circles. After surveying what all this means for the future of LGBTQ legal rights, the Essay concludes by underscoring the stakes—both dangers and opportunities—in the days ahead, as pressures on LGBTQ rights continue to mount in the courts and as struggles for LGBTQ rights increasingly shift to the field of politics. With an eye on those shifts, the Essay closes by calling on LGBTQ communities to attend to queer Black trans politics and their visions with care, resisting the ostensible seductions and comforts that a return to older ways of thinking about and practicing “white club” LGBTQ politics might provide.
Marc Spindelman, Queer Black Trans Politics and Constitutional Originalism, 13 ConLawNOW 92 (2022)