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(Trans)Gendering Sexuality: Exploring the Intersections and Distinctions of Sexuality and Gender through Gender Transition
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Dr Sally Hines
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Over the past three decades transgender practices have been at the forefront of debates within feminism, lesbian and gay scholarship and queer theory. Yet the features of gender and sexuality have largely been treated individually; feminist analyses have tended to focus upon either gender or sexuality, whilst the stress within lesbian and gay scholarship and queer theory has largely been upon sexuality. In exploring the characteristics of gender and sexuality through gender transition, the paper aims to bring attention to the nuanced ways in which these features are both dependant and distinct. The paper begins by addressing the key traditions to have focused upon the features of gender and sexuality in studies of transgender- psychology, anthropology, ethnomethodology, feminism, queer theory and transgender studies. The second part of the paper draws on findings from a recent empirical study of transgender identities to substantively explore the relationship between gender and sexuality. I initially address how sexuality and gender are located as fluid processes within trans people‘s narratives. I then move on to consider the relevance of bringing a queer analytic to narratives of transgender. Finally I explore the ways in which sexuality may be understood as a stable factor within participants' narratives of gender transition. I conclude by proposing that a queer sociological analysis is useful for theorising the intersections and distinctions of gender and sexual diversity within the narratives of trans men and women.
Sage Publications Ltd.
Single authored article under consideration for a peer reviewed international high impact interdisciplinary journal. The article explores the characteristics of gender and sexuality through gender transition, and aims to bring attention to the nuanced ways in which these features are both dependant and distinct. The article proposes that a queer sociological analysis is useful for theorising the intersections and distinctions of gender and sexual diversity within the narratives of transgender men and women. The paper has been given at the 'Pleasure and Danger' Conference at the University of Cardiff in 2005, at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of Leeds in 2006, and at the Women and Feminist Studies Conference at the University of Bradford in 2006.
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