Chapter

Transgender identities and experiences

Sally Hines

in transForming gender

Published by Policy Press

Published in print September 2007 | ISBN: 9781861349163
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447304074 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781861349163.003.0004
Transgender identities and experiences

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This chapter addresses the understandings and experiences of gender identity prior to transition and the formation of transgender identities. Next, it draws upon recollections of ‘significant moments’ within the process of transgender identity formation. Then, the chapter develops the theme of embodiment to consider the impact of bodily changes upon identity. The relevance of analysing transgender identity positions as gender performances and the discourses around gender authenticity are investigated. The ways in which transgender identities are linguistically articulated to produce distinct identity positions are explained. The narrative of the ‘wrong body’ within discourses of ‘gender dysphoria’ is repeated to gain surgical reconstruction. The debates show how definitions of authenticity may lend themselves to essentialist identity claims that refute the non-normative identities of others. A central theme emerging from narratives of transgender experiences and identity relates to the importance of developing a queer sociological approach to transgender.

Keywords: transgender identity; gender performances; gender authenticity; wrong body; gender dysphoria

Chapter.  13452 words. 

Subjects: Gender and Sexuality

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