‘It is this ignorance we have to fight’

emergent gender normativities in an interview with Greek transgender activists


  • Stamatina Katsiveli Queen Mary University of London




gender normativity, transgender, Conversation Analysis, Membership Categorisation Analysis, news interviews, Greece, infrapolitics


Growing legal LGBTQI+ representation in Greece is systematically targeted by Greek homophobic and transphobic nationalism, commonly articulated in public by (far) rightwing politicians and church representatives. The present article brings into attention a more subtle way in which discriminatory discourses make their way into the public sphere, disguised behind progressive narratives of inclusivity. I examine an interview with two transgender activists on the occasion of the gender recognition law passed in Greece in 2017. According to the journalist, the interview seeks ‘to fight ignorance’ and, by extension, transphobia. Drawing on conversation analysis and membership categorisation analysis, I identify two discursive strategies through which the journalist disrupts his initial framing: (1) elaborated questions which invoke and assume gender normativity and (2) references to the overhearing audience, which assume (and reproduce) a generalised scepticism regarding transgender identity. This interview instantiates a new powerful genre of politics in disguise which deserves attention and requires nuanced interactional analysis in order to be traced and unpacked.

Author Biography

Stamatina Katsiveli, Queen Mary University of London

Stamatina Katsiveli is a PhD student at Queen Mary University of London. Her research focuses on the intersection of gender/sexuality and national belonging in (Greek) talk-in-interaction from a conversation analytic perspective. In her PhD thesis she investigates the intersectional experience of Greek LGB individuals as it is locally constructed in talk through membership categorisation practices, person reference and stance-taking.


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How to Cite

Katsiveli, S. . (2021). ‘It is this ignorance we have to fight’: emergent gender normativities in an interview with Greek transgender activists. Gender and Language, 15(2), 158–183. https://doi.org/10.1558/genl.18949