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Gatekeepers for Gendersex Norms: Trans (Un)intelligibility and (Il)legitimacy within the Danish Healthcare System

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  • Molly Occhino, Roskilde University, Denmark
  • Lea Skewes
Transfeminist studies in both Sweden (Bremer, 2011; Linander et al. 2019) and Norway (Van der Ros, 2017) have documented gendersex binary and heteronormative practices in trans-specific healthcare. Similarly, the Danish Sexology Clinic (SC) has been accused of interpreting gendersex as binary and sexuality as heteronormative (Amnesty International 2014). In order to explore whether Danish healthcare practices are shaped by binary gendersex and heteronormative ideals we created a survey asking trans people (n=48) about their experiences with the practices at the SC. We payed particular attention to people who were rejected from the clinic, because this indicates which bodies the clinic perceives as unintelligible or illegitimate. Our survey showed that the majority of the participants identified as LGBQIA+ (75%), and eight of 48 participants self-identified as non-binary or with multiple gender identities, underlining the importance of ensuring that these interpellations of sexuality and gendersex are perceived as intelligible and legitimate in the clinic. Furthermore, non-binary and LGBQIA+ respondents reported a greater mismatch with the SC interpellation of transgender identity and gender expression, than people identifying within the gendersex binary, and/or as heterosexual, thereby echoing Amnesty International’s (2014) critiques of the SC as founded on a gendersex binary and heteronormative interpellations of gendersex and sexuality.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNORA - Nordic Journal of Feminist and Gender Research
Pages (from-to)314-328
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020

    Research areas

  • Gender Stereotypes, Healthcare, Transgender

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