‘It is this ignorance we have to fight’
emergent gender normativities in an interview with Greek transgender activists
Keywords: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.
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