Girl’s Night: The Upper Limit of Gender Euphoria


  • Maria Higa McGlashan


Gender binary, Gender euphoria, Deviance, Conformity, Biopower


Though I discovered my nonbinary identity through the pursuit of pleasure, there are constraints on how much pleasure can be found in gender experimentation. This essay describes my effort to play with the tools of the gender binary - and the disastrous results. I wanted to depart from my lifelong masculine comfort zone by trying more feminine clothes. I put on a wig, makeup, and a pink dress, and went to a nightclub to see how I felt. Based on the theory of Preciado, I expected that gender’s constructedness would leave it open to deconstruction and experimentation. Instead, I found that I was treated better than I had ever been before. I suddenly understood how poor my treatment is, how inaccessible “normal” life is to me, and the restrictions on my capacity to seek pleasure. The reasons for this can be found in the history of gender as a tool of biopower. The gender binary was, from the beginning, built to incentivize conformity and punish deviance, and thus it cannot tolerate my existence. If I am ever to access pleasure the way the rest of the world can, it cannot be in a world structured by binary gender.

Author Biography

Maria Higa McGlashan


Maria is a zoology major completing their final semester of their BSc. Despite their scientific background, Maria has always maintained a strong interest in gender studies because of their gender, sexuality, and close connection to queerness. He believes that an understanding of the sciences is incomplete without an understanding of the humanities (and vice versa). Maria plans to pursue a Master’s and a PhD in zoology with a focus in entomology, and intends to keep all of their work informed by an intersectional lens.