HATFIELD, JOE EDWARD
Spring 2019, 49.1, pages 25–48
The Queer Kairotic: Digital Transgender Suicide Memories and Ecological Rhetorical Agency
Abstract: When two transgender teenagers posted eerily similar suicide letters to public Tumblr accounts in late 2014 and early 2015, they inspired a viral memorialization effort across the website. In this article, I argue the widespread circulation of transgender suicide rhetoric facilitates the possibility for queer rhetors to provoke collective enactments of rhetorical agency even after their deaths. I identify the suicide letters as an emergent rhetorical form, which on its dissemination and due to its intelligibility, incites a kairotic moment. The kairotic moment may be protracted by a network of bodies who feel and collectively reproduce its sensate exigence. As it becomes viral, the kairotic moment acts as the queer futurity of ecological rhetorical agency because it stretches the visceral pressure of exigence beyond its original spatiotemporal emergence, draws bodies into collaborative networks, and orients invention toward the dismantling of normative rhetorical constructs and the composition of alternative worlds.