A visiting researcher from the University of Arizona claimed that he identified himself as a hippo in a recent article published in an academic journal.
Write in the Journal of Theoretical Humanities, Florentin Félix Morin, visiting researcher at the University of Arizona, argued that his hippo alter ego allowed him to navigate the world without the constraints that “govern human bodies”.
This article explores the formation of a tranimal alter-ego, the hippopotamus. Confronting transgender and transspecies, the author asserts that his hippopotamus “identity” allowed him to escape (verbally) at once from several categorizations that govern human bodies (“gender”, “sexuality”, age). He begins with an account of how his metaphorical hippo self is collectively produced and interpreted, distinguishing between the subjective, the intersubjective, and the social. The article then examines the policy of transgender and transspecies assimilation, critically examining the issue of the inclusion of “xenogenders” in the trans political movement.
In the article, Morin says that while he understands that he is not actually a hippo, his theoretical exercise of being transspecies, or “tranimal,” comforted him when he accepted his actual transgender.
“I really like when my friends call me ‘hippo’, refer to my ‘paws’ and claim that they don’t see any difference between me and any of my stuffed hippos except that I’m a bit older. bigger than most of them. Morin writes. “Surprisingly, at times overwhelming, I find solace in this collectively realized animal identity.”
“I find comfort in this collectively realized animal identity,” continues Morin. “Let me put it this way: something about being a hippo makes me feel cute, confident, sexy, and secure. I discovered that another me was available to me: being a hippo means that I don’t have to be a boy or a girl, a child or an adult, normal or strange.
On the University of Arizona website, Morin is touted as an exciting addition to the institution’s LGBT curriculum.
Florentin Félix Morin is a French student who has just started his thesis this year at the University of Paris 8. He works at the intersection of trans studies and animal studies, focusing on body modifications, trans-animal practices and subjectivities. . He is more than excited to be in Tucson for the spring semester, to benefit from all the activities of the department and the Institute, to conduct fieldwork in the United States and to meet everyone! (He uses the name ‘Felix’ in English.)