Recognising and regulating gender

Recognising and regulating gender: A comparative Exploration of Trans* Narratives of Equality in Canada, the US and the UK
Speaker: Dr Sharon Cowan # Edinburgh University
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Date and Time
16th Jan 2014 17:00 - 16th Jan 2014 18:30
Chrystal MacMillan Building Seminar Room 3

This paper will present the preliminary findings of an ongoing empirical project that aims to investigate the impact of law and medicine upon trans people’s lives in three jurisdictions: the UK, Canada and the US. Using a socio-legal ethnographic methodology, and through the lens of legal consciousness, the project examines trans people’s relationships (or lack thereof) with medico-legal practices and discourses. While law and medicine may have developed to enable some transgender people to make certain (previously prohibited) choices, medico-legal discourses also have a repressive and regulatory role that many trans people may try to resist or ignore in their every day lives. The paper explores the impact of law and medicine upon the lives of transgender individuals and communities, particularly those who actively struggle for social and/or legal recognition and equality. In doing so the paper aims to give voice to the experiences, attitudes and lived realities of those that the law and medicine attempt to regulate.