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“Do You Think I Look Like an ‘F’ Anymore?”: Trans Identities, Biopolitics and Navigating State and Medical Spaces in Québec, Canada


“Do You Think I Look Like an ‘F’ Anymore?”: Trans Identities, Biopolitics and Navigating State and Medical Spaces in Québec, Canada

Zullo, William (2015) “Do You Think I Look Like an ‘F’ Anymore?”: Trans Identities, Biopolitics and Navigating State and Medical Spaces in Québec, Canada. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Zullo_MSc_S2015.pdf - Accepted Version


In Canada, trans persons seeking to transition face legal and medical regulation. In British Columbia and Ontario, sexual reassignment surgeries (SRS) are no longer required to legally change an individual’s gender designation. In Québec, however, trans people are still required to demonstrate proof of SRS. This thesis argues that there are two key spatial spheres that trans people must negotiate in their transition process which have received little attention in geographic work: state and medical spaces. State space will be examined by focusing on the Directeur de l’etat civil (DEC), the principle governing body of civil affairs in the province. This government agency plays a pivotal role in determining whether a person has met the legal requirements to warrant a change of gender designation. Medical space, defined as the hospitals, clinics, and psychotherapeutic offices where trans people seek guidance and support for their transition is also central to this study. This project employs a Foucauldian biopolitical framework to help structure the analysis of the embedded power relations between state and medical authorities and individuals. The population studied is trans-masculine persons living in Québec who were undergoing or who had planned to undergo transition-related medical interventions. Participants were recruited through university LGBTQ centers, as well as through trans organizations located in Montréal. The participants were interviewed following oral history interview principles. The findings of this study demonstrate that due to the restrictive regulations imposed by the Government of Québec that in legal spaces, trans persons are limited in terms of their self-determination, as they must conform to established biopolitical norms. Additionally, in medical spaces, not only do medical professionals lack awareness of trans-specific needs, but trans identities are also regulated through the documentation requirements. Overall, trans persons in Québec continue to face both legislative and medical hurdles when attempting to transition in-province.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Geography, Planning and Environment
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Zullo, William
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M. Sc.
Program:Geography, Urban & Environmental Studies
Date:September 2015
Thesis Supervisor(s):Podmore, Julie and Gould, Kevin
ID Code:980552
Deposited On:04 Nov 2015 20:09
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:51


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