Transmedicalism and ‘trans enough’
linguistic strategies in talk about gender dysphoria
Keywords:transnormativity, nonbinary, trans linguistics, healthcare
While gender dysphoria is a real and acute distress for many transgender people, it is not universal, and it is experienced and oriented to in a myriad of ways. However, its status as a prerequisite for gender-affirming care can lead trans people to feel compelled to amplify its salience in pursuit of medical support. Through a critical discourse analysis of nonbinary healthcare narratives, this article traces the relationship between linguistic practices in these care interactions and the gender and sexual logics of the transmedicalist model of trans-gender care. Individuals’ descriptions of dysphoria in the consultation room are not straightforward accounts of assimilation to transmedicalist expectations. Rather, when read from a trans linguistic perspective attentive to the biopolitics of transgender healthcare, these become strategies for nonbinary patients to enact their own interventions on a process over which (it may seem) they have minimal control, presenting a critical thirding (as described by Eve Tuck 2009) of a dichotomous view of either transnormativity or resistance.
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