This essay studies the emergence and rise of transgender argumentation in intercollegiate policy debate by marking its indebted relation to Black radicalism in the activity. Instead of situating trans argumentation merely as a discordant offshoot of (primarily white and non-Black) feminist and queer arguments, the author argues that trans argumentation is made possible by Black debaters, coaches and judges who innovated (and continue to innovate) techniques and methodologies to theorize and counter anti-Black exclusion. Attending to the intricacies of Black study is critical to reckoning with the disagreements Black studies pursues with white and non-Black trans theory, practice and politics. Instead of clearing its debt, the author argues that trans argumentation should stay with the rhetorical debt of its own emergence by studying lessons from the Black radical tradition and refusing trans trajectories that ultimately separate and distance trans liberation from Black liberation.



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