Title

More Than Two Genders: Negotiating Gender in the Ultimate Gender Binary

Document Type

Thesis

Publication Date

2005

Advisor

Sheila Nelson, Sociology

Abstract

In an editorial entitled, "Expanding the GLBT tent," an African American transsexual female-to-male man points out the necessity for homosexual and heterosexual people alike to come to terms with the last letter in the "so-called GLBT alphabet soup." (Jackson, N., Expanding the GLBT Tent, The Gay Lesbian Review Worldwide, 11(3), 4) Indeed, it is time to recognize the forgotten 'T'. In this paper, I intend to develop an understanding of transgendered and transsexual identity. I will assemble a base of knowledge on the subject as it is understood by scientists and social scientists and as it is understood by those who are transgendered. Through a review of books and journal articles, as well as interviews with three transgendered/transsexual people, I will begin to explore the forgotten 'T', clarifying societal misconceptions about transgender and transsexual individuals. I will also argue that it is our dichotomous gender system that primarily causes identity struggles for transgendered individuals, and I will examine the uniquely dichotomous gender system at the College of St. Benedict and St. John's University.

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