Foreword Reviews

Glitter Up the Dark: How Pop Music Broke the Binary

Glitter Up the Dark: How Pop Music Broke the Binary cover image

FOREWORD’S LIT HIT—INDIE BOOKS THAT’LL BLOW YOU AWAY

What does it take to earn the distinction “pop icon?” Hordes of screaming fans? Elaborate stage performances? Eyeliner? Sasha Geffen posits another commonality in their gender-studies-meets-music-history work, Glitter Up the Dark: How Pop Music Broke the Binary. Examining the relationship between music and boundary-breaking gender identities and expressions, Geffen draws examples from the early twentieth century to today, touching on artists such as The Beatles, Missy Elliot, and Frank Ocean. Published in Rolling Stone and Pitchfork, among others, Geffen’s work focuses on the many ways in which music has inspired awareness of and conversations related to trans rights and nonbinary identities, as well as offering an outlet for artists and fans to shed the shackles of gender essentialism. Glitter Up the Dark is Geffen’s definitive love letter to the power of music to inspire acceptance and transformation—both within ourselves, and in the world around us.

Glitter Up the Dark: How Pop Music Broke the Binary
Sasha Geffen
University of Texas Press
April 2020
Softcover $18.95 (264)
978-1-4773-1878-2

Danielle Ballantyne

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