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Intro Transgender

Intro Transgender

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Published by 5jd33

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Published by: 5jd33 on Mar 14, 2012
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04/28/2012

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6TRAI{SOIIIDtR|ISIOBY
theirbirth-assignedenderor to live as a memberof anothergenderhavetendedro encounrer significanrformsof discriminarionandprejudice-evenreligiouscondemnadon.Becausemostpeople havegreatdifficulry recognizingthe humaniryof anotherperson iftheycannot ecognizehat persontgender, hegender-changing ersoncanevoke n othersa primordial fearof monstrosiryor lossof humanness.ThatgutJevelfear canmanifest itselfas hatred, ourrage,panic,ordisgust,whichmay thentranslate ntophysicaloremorionalviolencedirected againsttheperson who isperceived as not-quite-human.Suchpeopleareoften shunnedand may bedeniedsuch basicneedsashousingoremployment.\(ithin modernbureaucraticsociery manykindsof routineadminiscrativeproceduresmake life verydifficult forpeoplewhocross hesocialboundariesf their binh-assignedenders.Birthcertificates,chool andmedical ecords,rofessionalredentials,passports,drivert licenses,and othersuch documentsprovideacompositeportraitof eachofus as a personwitha pardculargender,and whenthese ecordshavenoticeableiscrepanciesromissions, llkindsof problems6a11gsuh-inabiliryto marry forexample,or rocross nationalborders,or quali$, forjobs,or gain accesso neededsocial services,orsecure egal custodyof onetchildren. Becausetransgenderpeopletypically lackthe same kindof supportrhat fullyacceptedmembersof societyautomadcallyexpecr,hey may bemorelikelytoengage n rislqyor harmfulbehaviorsand consequendymaywinduphavingmorehealth problemsor uoublewith rhe aw-whichonlycompoundsheiralready onsiderableifficulties.Inthe UnitedStates, hembersof minorirygroups oftentry toopposeorchangediscriminarorypractices nd prejudicialanimdesbybandingtogethero offerone another mutualsupport,.tovoiceheirissuesnpublic,ro raisemoneyto improvetheir collectiveotin life,to formorganizationshataddress heirspecific unmetneeds,or roparticipaten electoralpolitics or lobby forthepassagef protectivelegislation.Someengagen more radicalor militantkindsof activism.Some membersof rheminorirygroup makearr or wrireliteraturethatchanges heway othersthink ofthem and theissues heyface.
[|'l llTR0DIJCI|0ll0R[l{S0tll0ER
somedotheintellectualandtheoreticalworkof analyzingherootsof theirParticularormsofsocialoppressionanddevisingstrategies"rrdpoli"i.,thatwillbringaboutabetterfuture'OthersdirecttheirattentiontowardPromodngself-acceptancenda sensefself-worthamongmembersof theminorirycommunitywh<lhaventernalizeddisempoweringattirudesorbeliefsabouttheirdifferenceromthedominantmajoriry.Inshort,amultidimensionalactivistmovementforsocialchangeoftenbeginsotakeshape'ustsuchamovementoaddressffansgender.relatedsocialjusticeissuesdevelopedintheUnitedStatesnthedecadesfter\7orld\il'arII'
Iermsndefinitions
Beforemovingontoa discussionfthathistoryhowever'twouldbewonhwhiletospendaittletimedefiningsomeof thecommonterms'concepts,ndassumptionshatI willbeusingthroughoutthisbook'Becauseransgenderssuesouchonfundamentalquestionsfhumanexistence,heytakeusintoareashatwerarelyconsidercarefully;usually,wesimplyexPeriencehesethingswithoutthinkingaboutthemtoomuch-aswedowithgraviry,forexample'orbreathing'In theeverydaycourseofwents,mostpeoplehavenoreasonoaskquesdonsuchas\(/hatmakesamanaman'orawomana woml?-o,"Ho* ismybodyrelatedomysocialrole?"oreven"HowdoIknowwhatmygenderis?"Rather,wejustgoaboutoureverydaybusinesswithoutcauseoquesdonheunexaminedassumptionshatformpartofourworkingreality'Butgender'ikegravityorbreathing'is areallycomplicatedopicwhenyoustartakingtapartandbreakingitdown-asthefollowingtermsanddefinitionsaftest.InofferingthesehandythurnbnailsketchesfhowIusecertain'keyconcepts'neverthelessopeocomplicatehowweunderstandhemandobeginintroducingsomeofthearsumentsthatwillplaythemselvesoutinthechaptershead.,,-J,Sr",Sexs'notthesameasgender,althoughmanypeopleusethe''-'"..r-,interchangeablyneverydaypeech'Q91.i;generallyonsidered
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IRII{SGiI{DtR|ISTORY
fi,of9gi9al,andgendersgenerallyconsideredultural(althoughhat"*_d:_:::T*lBigchlng-ingoo).Th9,words,.male,'"rrj.G*uli';'r.f.,tg;g1,Se!.refersoreproducrivecafacityorpotential-whetheranin{i"v-id.ualgdyproducesoneorrheotherof themospecializedells
kg3:lqe1m)5gesgaryo.ourspecieqo-physical]y.nrnju"rr*rriC
Spermproducersarrcaidtobeo-f.Sprnq!9s_ets;_and^gg.prod-,+p9-ts.a.rer"idio!iof*.f.t"J-gr.*lrisshould.otbeakenom€anhatthereareonlytwokindsofbodiesmareand femare)orthata[ bodiesareeitheroneorrheotherofonlyrwopossibleindsofbodies.Bodieshatmixphysicalcharacteristicsofmaleor female,ofwhichtherearemanydifFerentariedes,resaidobe nrersexdefinedbelow).Thesextatusgjanypardcularbodysdeqglgrrnedengtically,r.ao-i"*ityUyit.
t"il'J"f-*fs."o.il.d.h.hio**o-.,(*ii.i,h"*b..-;;;:
.i_dend$,ingabelsX*dg.Th!g.n.ti.orchromosomalsexofthe
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f_oo)i.cannor(orat leastcannoryer)bechanged.nthecontemporaryunitedStates,tisstillwidelybelievedhatgenderdefinedbelow)salsodeterminedbyphysicalsex-meaningthatapersonwitha marebodysautomaticallyonsideredmananda personwitha emareodyisautomaticdlyconsideredv,'61n4n-hsncehecommontendencyousehewords "sex"and"gender"nterchangeably.ome,r"rrrgarrd.,peoplesharehisbeliefandassumehattheirneedtocrossgenderboundariesasa physical,sexlinkedcause.Othertransgender.opl.understandheirsensefbeingtransgenderedobe entireryunr.latdtobiologicalsexdifferencesandtobe reratednsteadtopsychologicalandculturalproc€sses.smentionedabove,t'spossibleo ,pi.,_*ydifferentheoriesaboutwhytransgendereopleexist.Intersex:Typically,einganegg-producingodyorasperm-producingbodycarrieswithita numberof relatedphysicalraits.Egg_prod,.r.ingbodiesendto haveaureruswhererhefusedegg/spermcelsgrowintonewndividuals,andtheyaisoendro havemilk-producingglandshatprovidenourishmentortheyoung.sperm-producingbodiesendtohaveapenis,whichisuse&rrordeliveringthespermtotheuterus.Theseare,however,ontryhemosrcommonwaysrharnarurarserection
Al{l{In00|Jclloll0 nll{s0il{0tR
has organizedthereproductiveanatomyofhuman bodies.S7henaneggand spermcellcome ogetler,their chromosomesan combinenpatterns(called"karyogpes")otherthanthe two thatresult in typicalmaleXDortypicalfemale0O0bodyrypes.Somegeneticirregularitiescausebody thatis geneticallyY(male)olook femaleat birth. Somebodies areborn withgenitalshatlook like amixture oftypicallymdeandrypicallyfemale shapes.Some geneticallyfemale bodiesQOQarebornwithoutvaginas,wombs,or ovaries.ll of theseariationsonthemostrypicalorganizationofhumanreproductiveanatomy-alongwithmany, manymore-are called"intersex"conditions(andused tobecalledhermaphroditism).Somentersexeoplenow preferhemedicalterm"DSD" (forDisordersofSexualDevelopment)o describeheirsexstatus,but otherseject histermasundulypathologizing.ntersexconditionsarefar morecommonthanmost peoplercalizn;eliableestimatesutthenumber at aboutonen two thousandbirths.Sometransgendereoplewho thinktheirdesire ocrossgenderboundarieshasa biologicalcauseonsiderhemselvesohavean ntersexondition(currentheoriesavor sex-linkedeurologicalifferencesn the brain).Politicallyand sociologically,however,the transgenderand intersexactivistcommunitiesarequitedifferent'Intersexactivism,whichwill be discussednly tangendallyn thisbook asittouchesupontransgenderssues,endso focuson endinghe pracdceof performing"normalization' surgeryon infantsborn withnoticeablyambiguousgenitals;ransgenderpeoplearerighdy consideredo face differentkindsofproblemswith themedicalestablishment'
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rMorphology:.lJyLikegeneticsex,a persontmorphology,orthe shapet'of{.U"ay tn",*. typic"llyassociateith beingmale or female,an
;bemodifiedn_:91e..19"sp:*c.tsllj.g"gh_'_gjgS.fy,-.h,p",S*sns;r.=g-rsJei$.,.iothing,ndothermetho-{1-$,picaldullT{:l-:9-_lh:8:-j*li*"Jiitii""t_g"9igali1n9nisd..t99ticf99),.-!gh"egt,Jn9..!I-:f-,:J''-*+a-":gftgJlp:t:f.-.-"+.--rypt."t-&-*-alghody,shapes.ro.hav*"i-'nJl'",$a clitoris, re3s_ts,ndlbroad.l"i:ygp:"!"gy_*T,L:-fT,_1-'":h;"t-Pe5p.9-fsdrshapgq.theiz99{hehipselativeI,thewii;-t,{9
 
10TRiltSGtl't0tR|tstORf
breadthofrhe shoulderserariveo height,thethicknessofthe limbs,'andothergender-signifyingeatures.'idrsecondaryexharacteristics:ertainpiysicartraitstendtobeassociated1f1_h.eletigse,x9rreprodugtive.pgggntial,uchasskintexture,bodyatdistribution,afternsfhairgrowth,orrerativeveralrodfs ze.Manyof rhesephysicalraitsaretheeffectsofvaryinglevelsof hormones,the'themicalmessengers"uchasesrrogenndtestosteronehatareproducedbyvariousendocrineglandshroughoutthebody.AdjustingIp.grgon'sormonelevelscanchangesome(butnotall)sei-liiikedo"i.*S..ona".y,i*"ii"r"....irti.,.orrriit,rteperhap!he,rr;r,,oli"Uysignificanrpartofmorphology-takentogether,heyarethebodily'tigns"thatotherseadoguessr oursex,attributegenderous, andassignsothesocialcategoryheyunderstando bemostappropriateforus.Secondaryexcharacteristicsreheaspectofourbodieshatwe allmanipulateinanacemprtocommunicateoothersourownsensefwhowefeelweare-whetherwewearclothingwitha necklineharemphasizesourcleavage,rwhetherweallowhairstubbleo bevisibleonourfaces.nthissense,allhlrmanbodiesaremodified-bodieq;aq4r9shaped"..orJi.rg'_.o
""lr5"!-n_1191199p,S-!ap,!nsebodyo
reprelen_r.neselftoothersissuchanimportantpartof humanculture'ihr'iit's_viriuallympossiblet.p1e"d9_3_"ykindofbodymodificationwithoutothermembelsof.99ciityh"irlgm,-;.p.ijt_i_"_ll:O:r,*n.,,n.rrhepracricesgoodorbad,or rightorwrong,dependingnhow-91_wi1onedoesit.Everl,thingfromcuttingonetnailstocuttingoffone'segallssomewherena specuum
'tr,
(
Alll{ln00IJCI|0ll0RlllSGttl0tnl
of moralor ethicaludgment.Consequently,manymembersf societyhavestrongeelingsndopinionsaboutransgenderodymodificadonPractices.Gender:Genderis not thesameas sex,thoughthe.twolerms-1reoften used'iiiiiiihangtably,.,r.nin technicalor scholadyiterature,tiezitfii$ dffeiit-d&rfoftodfusion.Genders,e;nglallyconsideredo be.yl$fd,3ldqex,biolgglcal(though;;;d;"ttheoiiCJPo;i?;di"l1.q11.*fl-:*t9g9ry".well),.Thg.woq$smal] and "woman"refertoffldd\io orr.i, fqrt"*o*4to,"*"5r-.".h"t'"tihiUyil; g;Es'"oge-!9co-qn99.o".]1.!tp$ha.c.gmp.lexrocegg,flocialization'Glnderis-.he,soeialorg+n.izali9n.,{ditre1-en1-kinds9fbodiglinlo differentcategories.ofeople-(TheEnglishword"gender"s derivedromgenre,meaningkind"or"typ."). Historicallyand cross-culturally,herehavebeen manydifferentsystemsf organizingpeoplento genders.Somecultures,ncludingmanyNativeAmericancultures,havehadthree orfour social genders.Someattributesocial genderothe workpeopledo rather hanto thebodiesheylive in. Insomeculturespeoplecanchangeheirsocial genderbasedondreamsorvisions'Insome heychanget with ascalpel.he mportantthings o bearn mind arehatgenders historical(itchangeshroughtime),thatit variesrom placeto placeandcultureo culture,andthatit is contingent(itdependsnaot of differentandseeminglynrelatedhingscomingogether).Thistakesusnto one ofthe centralssuesf transgenderolitics-thatthesexofthebodydoesnot bear anynecetsaryr dzterrninisticelationship.to the socialc tegoryn which thatbodylives.This assertion,rawnfrom the observationof humansocialvariability,spoliticalpreciselybecauset contradictshecommonbelief that whethera persons aman or awomanin thesocialsenses fundamentallydeterminedbythesex ofthe body.Itt politicalinthe additionalsensehathow asocietyorganizestsmembersnto categoriesasedn their unchosenphysicaldifferencess neverpoliticallyneutral' Oneof themainpointsof feminismis that societiesend tobe organizedn ways hatare moreexoloitativeof femalebodieshan ofmde bodies.fithout
:
Anonymousmabcross-dressertCesdSusanna,piuateresortforcross-dressennNew Yorh'sCatskillMotuntainsromtheate1950suntiltheearly1960s.

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