Question

Complexities of discrimination

How do the authors in the Readings define sex, gender identity, and gender expression? How do their definitions confirm and/or contradict the ways you have understood these terms in the past? How do they confirm and/or contradict each other?
Historically, how have transgender people experienced exclusion and marginalization in the United States? How have racism, classism, sexism and other forms of oppression intersected with transgender oppression?
How have trans-people organized to resist various forms of oppression in the United States? Given what you have learned about other social justice movements and the practice of resistance, how would you describe resistance to trans-oppression as similar or different to those other movements?
What roles have institutions—such as the medical system, the police, the courts, and the media—played in the construction of trans-identity and in trans-people’s experiences?
Of all the systems of oppression explored in this course so far, which do you feel you understand best or relate to the most? What analogies can you draw between transgender oppression and that system? What aspects of the systems are not analogous? What are the benefits and risks of understanding one system of oppression by analogy to another?

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COMPLEXITIES OF DISCRIMINATION
Transgender is a broad classificatory term that has been used to describe certain people whose gender identity does not conform to the accepted norms of the society or differs from what is associated with their birth or sex (Adams, Bell and Griffin, 2007). Transgender people are people who are usually assigned a gender at birth based on their genitals, but who feel that it is a false or incomplete description of them. The authors state that sex refers to the biological and physiological characteristics that define men and women. Adams et al., (2007) explains biological sex to be the physiological characteristics distinguishing males and females that one is born with, or that develop with physical maturity. The indicators include external and internal...

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