Login | Register

“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.

[thumbnail of Zullo_MSc_S2015.pdf]
Text (application/pdf)
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


Aide aux trans du Québec (ATQ) (2013). Free access for sex reassignment surgery. Retrieved from http://www.atq1980.org/en/vie-quotidienne/procedures-legales-et-medicales/

Aizura, A. Z. (2010). Feminine transformations: Gender reassignment surgical tourism in Thailand. Medical Anthropology, 29, 1-20.

Allison, L. (February 8, 2010). Québec now funding trans surgeries at private clinic. Daily Xtra. Retrieved from http://dailyxtra.com/news/Québec-now-funding-trans-surgeries-at-private-clinic

Andrews, G. J., Kearns, R. A., Kontos, P. & Wilson, V. (2006). ‘Their finest hour’: Older people, oral histories, and the historical geography of social life. Social & Cultural Geography, 7, 153-177.

American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Fact sheet: Gender dysphoria. American Psychiatric Publishing: A Division of American Psychiatric Association.

American Psychological Association. (2014). Answers to your questions about transgender people, gender identity, and gender expression. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/topics/lgbt/transgender.aspx

Archambault, H. (November 16, 2013). Près de 300 changements de sexe depuis quatre ans. Journal de Montréal. Retrieved from http://www.journaldeMontréal.com/2013/11/16/pres-de-300-changements-de-sexe-depuis-quatre-ans.

Atkinson, R., & Flint, J. (2001). Accessing hidden and hard-to-reach populations: Snowball research strategies. Social Research Update, 33, 1-4.

Beauchamp, T. (2013). The substance of borders: Transgender politics, mobility, and US state regulation of testosterone. GLQ: Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, 19, 57-78.

Bauer, G. R., Scheim, A. I., Deutsch, M. B., & Massarella, C. (2014). Reported emergency
department avoidance, use, and experiences of transgender persons in Ontario, Canada: Results from a respondent-driven sampling survey. Annals of Emergency Medicine, 63(6), 713-720.

Bellerose, P. (2014, December 02). Projet de loi 35: Les trans manifestent leur impatience à
Québec. Huffington Post Québec. Retrieved on January 15, 2015 http://Québec.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/12/02/projet-de-loi-35-les-trans-manifestent-leur-impatience-a-Québec_n_6257938.html

Bornstein, K. (1994). Gender outlaw: On men, women, and the rest of us. New York, NY: Routledge.

Bouchard, G. (2014, July 17). Une méconnaissance profonde des réalités “trans”. Le Devoir.
Retrieved on January 25, 2015. http://www.ledevoir.com/societe/actualites-en-societe/413561/la-replique-une-meconnaissance-profonde-des-realites-trans

Brown, M., & Knopp, L. (2014). The birth of the (gay) clinic. Health & Place, 28, 99-108.

Browne, K. (2004). Genderism and the bathroom problem: (Re) materialising sexed sites, (re) creating sexed bodies. Gender, Place and Culture, 11, 331-346.

Browne, K. (2005). Snowball sampling: Using social networks to research non-heterosexual women. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 8, 47-60.

Browne, K. (2006). Challenging queer geographies. Antipode, 38, 885-893.

Browne, K., Kim, J., & Brown, G. (2007). Geographies of sexualities. Burlington, VT: Ashgate.

Browne, K. (2010). Trans lives in the ‘gay capital of the UK.’ Gender, Place & Culture, 17, 615-633.

Browne, K., Nash, C. J., & Hines, S. (2010). Introduction: Towards trans geographies. Gender, Place & Culture, 17, 573-577.

Bulter, J. (1990). Gender trouble: Feminism and the subversion of identity. New York: Routledge.

Butler, J. (1993). Bodies that matter: On the discursive limits of “sex”. New York: Routledge.

Butler, J. (2004). Undoing gender. Boca Raton, FL: Routledge.

Center for Addiction and Mental Health. (2012). Retrieved on February 20, 2015. http://www.camh.ca/en/hospital/care_program_and_services/hospital_services/Pages/gid_guide_to_camh.aspx

Cohen, C. J. (1997). Punks, bulldaggers, and welfare queens: The radical potential of queer politics?. GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, 3, 437-465.

Coleman, E., Bockting, W., Botzer, M., Cohen-Kettenis, P., DeCuypere, G., Feldman, J.,
Fraser, L., Green, J., Knudson, G., Meyer, W. J., Monstrey, S., Adler, R. K., Brown, G. R., Devor, A. H., Ehrbar, R., Ettner, R., Eyler, E., Garofalo, R., Karasic, D. H., Lev, A. I.,Mayer, G., Meyer-Bahlburg, H., Hall, B. P., Pfaefflin, F., Rachlin, K., Robinson, B.,Schechter, L. S., Tangpricha, V., van Trotsenburg, M., Vitale, A., Winter, S., Whittle, S.,Wylie, K. R., & Zucker, K. (2011). Standards of care for the health of transsexual, transgender, and gender-nonconforming people, version 7. International Journal of Transgenderism, 13, 165-232.

Cormier, E. G., & L’Héritier, I. (2014, February 13). Projet de loi 35 et droits des personnes
trans: maintenir le cap en vue des luttes futures. Le Journal des Alternatives. Retrieved on January 25, 2015. http://journal.alternatives.ca/spip.php?article7728

Cowan, S. (2005). “Gender is no substitute for sex”: A comparative human rights analysis of the regulation of sexual identity. Feminist Legal Studies, 13, 67-96.

Cream, J. (1995). Re-solving riddles: The sexed body. In, G. Valentine & D.
Bell (Eds.), Mapping Desire: Geographies of Sexualities (31-40). London: Routledge.

Cromwell, J. (1999). Transmen and FTMs: Identities, bodies, genders, and sexualities. Chicago: University of Illinois Press.

Davis, E. C. (2008). Situating “fluidity”: (Trans) gender identifications and the regulation of gender diversity. GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, 15, 97-130.

Dean, M. (1999). Governmentality: Power and rule in modern society. London: SAGE.

Directeur de l’état civil. (2014, 2015). Change of designation of sex: Services Québec. Retrieved from http://www.étatcivil.gouv.qc.ca/en/change-name.html#sexe

Doan, P. L. (2007). Queers in the American city: Transgendered perceptions of urban space. Gender, Place and Culture, 14, 57-74.

Doan, P. L. (2010). The tyranny of gendered spaces-reflections beyond the gender dichotomy. Gender, Place and Culture, 17, 635-654.

Ehrbar, R. D. (2010). Consensus from differences: Lack of professional consensus on the
retention of the gender identity disorder diagnosis. International Journal of Transgenderism, 12(2), 60-74.

Enriquez, M. C. (2013). La contestation des politiques de changement d’identité de genre par les militantes et militants trans québecois. Lien social et Politiques, 69, 181-196.

Ferguson, J., & Gupta, A. (2002). Spatializing states: Toward an ethnography of neoliberal governmentality. American Ethnologist, 29, 981-2002.

Foucault, M. (1973). The birth of the clinic: An archaeology of medical perception. A.M Sheridan Smith (Trans.). London: Tavistock Publications.

Foucault, M. (1990). The history of sexuality: An Introduction.
Volume 1. Robert Hurley (Trans.). New York, NY: Vintage Books. (Original work published 1978)

Foucault, M. (2008). The birth of biopolitics: Lectures at the Collège de France 1978-1979. Michel Senellart (Ed.). Graham Burchell (Trans.) New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.

Foucault, M. (2008). Security, territory, population: Lectures at the Collège de France 1978-1979. Michel Senellart (Ed.). Graham Burchell (Trans.) New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.

Foucault, M. (2008). Society must be defended: Lectures at the College de France 1978-1979. Michel Senellart (Ed.). Graham Burchell (Trans.) New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.

Frisch, M. (1990). A shared authority: Essays on the craft and meaning of oral and public
history. Albany: State University of New York Press.

Government of British Columbia. (2015). “Change your name, address or gender”. Retrieved on
March 3, 2015. http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/topic.page?id=C53953157EE344A681EFD28325B526F4.

Government of Canada: Justice Laws Website (2014). Canadian Passport Order. Retrieved from http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/SI-81-86/FullText.html

Government of Canada. (2015). The supreme court of Canada and its impact on the expression of
bijuralism. Department of Justice. Retrieved on February 5, 2015. http://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/rp-pr/csj-sjc/harmonization/hfl-hlf/b3-f3/bf3c.html

Grabham, E. (2010). Governing permanence: Trans subjects, time, and the Gender Recognition Act. Social & Legal Studies, 19, 107-126.

Grabham, E. (2011). Transgender temporalities and the UK gender recognition act. In Davies, B., & Funke, J. (Eds.), Sex, Gender and Time in Fiction and Culture (pp. 154-169). New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Grele, R. J. (1993). Why call it oral history? Some ruminations from the field. Pennsylvania History, 60(4), 506-509.

Halberstam, J. (2005). In a queer time and place: Transgender bodies, subcultural lives. New York: New York University Press.

Harbin, A., Beagan, B., & Goldberg, L. (2012). Discomfort, judgment, and health care for queers.
Bioethical Inquiry, 9, 149-160.

High, S. (2009). Sharing authority: An introduction. Journal of Canadian Studies/ Revue d’études canadienne, 43, 12-34.

Hines, S. (2006). What’s the difference? Bringing particularity to queer studies of transgender. Journal of Gender Studies, 15, 49-66.

Hines, S. (2007). (Trans)forming gender: Social changes and transgender citizenship. Sociological Research Online, 12.

Hines, S. (2009). A pathway to diversity?: Human rights, citizenship and the politics of transgender. Contemporary Politics, 15, 87-102.

Hines, S. (2010). Queerly situated? Exploring negotiations of trans queer subjectivities at work and within community spaces in the UK. Gender, Place and Culture, 17, 597-613.

Irving, D. (2008). Normalized transgressions: Legitimizing the transsexual body as productive. Radical History Review, 100, 38-59.

Kearns. R., & Moon, G. (2002). From medical to health geography: Novelty, place and theory after a decade of change. Progress in Human Geography, 26, 605-625.

Kearns, R., & Collins, D. (2010). Health geography. In T. Brown, S. McLafferty, & G. Moons. (Eds.), A companion to health and medical geography (15-31). West Sussex, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.

King, N., & Horrocks, C. (2010). Interviews in qualitative research. Los Angeles: Sage Publications.

Le Comité trans du Conseil québécois, LGBT. (2013). Recomandations: Amendements au projet
de loi 35. Retrieved on January 15, 2015.

Lev, A. I. (2006). Disordering gender identity. Journal of Psychology & Human Sexuality, 17, 35-69.

Lev, A. I. (2013). Gender dysphoria: Two steps forward, one step back. Clinical Social Work
Journal, 41(3), 288-296.

Longhurst, R. (1995). The body and geography. Gender, Place and Culture, 2, 97-106.

Lombardi, E. L., Wilchens, R., Priesing, D., & Malouf, D. (2002). Gender violence: Transgender experiences with violence and discrimination. Journal of Homosexuality, 42, 89-101.

Lummis, T. (1987). Listening to history: The authenticity of oral evidence. London: Hutchinson.

McDowell, L. (1997). Women/gender/feminisms: Doing feminist geography. Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 21, 381-400.

Milligan, C. (2000). Bearing the burden: Towards a restructured geography of caring. Area, 32, 49-58.

Mountz, A. (2007). Smoke and mirrors: An ethnography of the state. In A. Tickell., E. Sheppard., J. Pecke., & T. Barnes (Eds.), Politics and practice in economic geography (38-48). London, UK; Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Nadesan, M. H. (2008). Governmentality, biopower, and everyday life. New York: Routledge.

Namaste, K. (1996). Genderbashing: Sexuality, gender, and the regulation of public space. Environment and Planning D, 14, 221-240.

Namaste, V. K. (2000). Invisible lives: The erasure of transsexual and transgendered
people. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

Namaste, V. K. (2011). Sex change, social change: Reflections on identity, institutions and imperialism (2nd ed.). Toronto: Women’s Press.

Nash, C. J. (2010). Trans geographies, embodiment and experience. Gender, Place and Culture, 17, 579-595.

Nash, C. J. (2011). Trans experiences in lesbian and queer spaces. The Canadian Geographer/ Le Geographe canadian, 55, 192-207.

Nast, H. J. (2002). Queer patriarchies, queer racisms, international. Antipode, 34, 874-909.

Ontario Human Rights Commission (2012, April 20). Important victory for transgender persons
in Ontario. Retrieved on January 25, 2015. http://www.ohrc.on.ca/en/news_centre/important-victory-transgender-persons-ontario

Olson, K. (2011). Essentials of qualitative interviewing. Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press.

Oswin, N. (2008). Critical geographies and the uses of sexuality: Deconstructing queer spaces. Progress in Human Geography, 32, 89-103.

Philo, C. (2000). The birth of the clinic: An unknown work of medical geography. Area, 32, 11-19.

Portail Québec. (2014, December 18). Lutte contre l’homophobie: La ministre de la justice agit
pour les personnes trans. Retrieved on January 15, 2015. http://www.fil-information.gouv.qc.ca/Pages/Article.aspx?aiguillage=ajd&type=1&idArticle=2212185312&lang=en

Prosser, J. (1998). Second skins: The body narratives of transsexuality. New York: Columbia University Press.

Portelli, A. (1998). Oral history as genre. In M. Chamberlain & P. Thompson (Eds.), Narrative and genre (23-45). London: Routledge.

Québec Official Publisher. (2013, chapter 27). Bill 35: An act to amend the civil code as regards
civil status, successions and the publication of rights. National Assembly, first session, fortieth legislature. Retrieved on December 15, 2014. http://www.assnat.qc.ca/en/travaux-parlementaires/projets-loi/projet-loi-35-40-1.html

Québec Official Publisher. (2014, December 17). Draft regulation of regulation to amend
regulation respecting change of name and of other particulars of civil status. Québec Official Gazette 146(51), p. 2789-2793.

Riley, M., & Harvey, D. (2007). Talking geography: On oral history and the practice of geography. Social & Cultural Geography, 8, 345-351.

Rooke, A. (2010). Trans youth, science and art: Creating (trans) gendered space. Gender, Place and Culture, 17, 655-672.

Rose, G. (1997). Situating knowledges: Positionality, reflexivities and other tactics. Progress in Human Geography, 21, 305-320.

Rosenberg, M. (2014). Health geography I: Social justice, idealist theory, health and health care. Progress in Human Geography, 38(3), 466-475.

Rotondi, N. K., Bauer, G. R., Scanlon, K., Kaay, M., Travers, R., & Travers, A. (2013). Nonprescribed hormone use and self-performed surgeries: “Do-it-yourself” transitions in transgender communities in Ontario, Canada. American Journal of Public Health, 103, 1830-1836.

Rubin, H. (2003). Self-made men: Identity and embodiment among transsexual men. Nashville, TN: Vanderbilt University Press.

Rubin, H. J., & Rubin, I. S. (2012). Qualitative interviewing: The art of hearing data (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.

Sanger, T. (2008). Trans governmentality: The production and regulation of gendered subjectivities. Journal of Gender Studies, 17, 41-53.

Santetranshealth. (2013). Retrieved from http://santetranshealth.org/jemengage/en/sante-trans-health/

Scheim, A. I., & Bauer, G. R. (2015). Sex and gender diversity among transgender persons in
Ontario, Canada: Results from a respondent-driven sampling survey. Journal of Sex Research, 52(1), 1-14.

Scott, J. C. (1998). Seeing like a state: How certain schemes to improve the human condition have failed. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

ServiceOntario. (2014). Changing your sex designation on your birth registration and birth
certificate. Retrieved on January 25, 2015. https://www.ontario.ca/government/changing-your-sex-designation-your-birth-registration-and-birth-certificate

Smart, A. (October 5, 2013). Transgender people in B.C. win a battle over identity. Times Colonist. Retrieved from http://www.timescolonist.com/news/local/transgender-people-in-b-c-win-a-battle-over-identity-1.650470

Snelgrove, J. W., Jasudavisius, A. M., Rowe, B. W., Head, E. M., & Bauer, G. R. (2012).
“Completely out-at-sea” with “two-gender medicine”: A qualitative analysis of physician-side barriers to providing healthcare for transgender patients. BMC Health Services Research, 12, 110-123.

Spade, D. (2008). Documenting gender. Hastings Law Journal, 59, 731-841.

Spade, D. (2011). Normal life: Administrative violence, critical trans politics, and the limits of law. Brooklyn, NY: South End Press.

Spade, D., & Wahng, S. (2004). Transecting the academy. GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, 10, 240-253.

Stoler, A. L. (1995). Race and the education of desire: Foucault’s history of sexuality and the colonial order of things. Durham: Duke University Press.

Stotzer, R. L. (2009). Violence against transgender people: A review of United States data. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 14, 170-179.

Stryker, S. (2004). Transgender studies: Queer theory’s evil twin. GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, 10, 212-215.

Stryker, S., & Wittle, S. (Eds.). (2006). The transgender studies reader. New York, NY: Routledge.

Stryker, S., & Aizura, A. Z. (Eds.). (2013). The transgender studies reader 2. New York, NY: Routledge

Susset, F. (2013). “Provincial Updates: Québec.” Canadian Professional Association for Transgender Health. Retrieved from http://www.cpath.ca/resources/provincial-resources/.

Tauches, K. (2011). Transgendering: Challenging the “normal”. In S. Seidman. N. Fischer & C. Meeks (Eds.), Introducing the new sexuality studies (2nd ed.) (134-139). New York, NY: Routledge.

Taylor, E. T. (2013). Transmen’s health care experiences: Ethical social work practice beyond the
binary. Journal of Gay and Lesbian Social Services, 25(1), 102-120.

Testa, R. J., Sciacca, L. M., Wang, F., Hendricks, M. L., Goldblum, P., Bradford, J., & Bongar, B. (2012). Effects of violence on transgender people. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 43(5), 452-459.

Transbucket. (2013). Retrieved on February 23, 2015. http://www.transbucket.com/

Ward, J. (2014, April 25). Québec quits publishing addresses of transgender people seeking name
changes. Global News. http://globalnews.ca/news/1289990/Québec-quits-publishing-addresses-of-transgender-people-seeking-name-changes/

Williams, A. (2002). Changing geographies of care: Employing the concept of therapeutic landscapes as a framework in examining home space. Social Science & Medicine, 55, 141-154.

World Professional Association for Transgender Health. (2013). Historical compilation of standards of care: Version 1-6. Retrieved from http://www.wpath.org/site_page.cfm?pk_association_webpage_menu=1351&pk_association_webpage=3925.

Xavier, J., Bradford, J., Hendricks, M., Safford, L., McKee, R., Martin, E., & Honnold, J. A. (2013). Transgender health care access in Virginia: A qualitative study. International Journal of Transgenderism, 14, 3-17.

Yow, V. R. (2005). Recording oral history: A guide for the humanities and social sciences (2nd ed.). Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press.

Zylinska, J. (2007). The secret of life. Cultural Studies, 21, 95-117.
All items in Spectrum are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved. The use of items is governed by Spectrum's terms of access.

Repository Staff Only: item control page

Downloads per month over past year

Research related to the current document (at the CORE website)
- Research related to the current document (at the CORE website)
Back to top Back to top