First Advisor

Monica Mueller

Date of Award

Fall 2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Arts and Letters and University Honors


Arts & Letters




Transgender people -- Identity, Gender-nonconforming people -- Medical care, Social constructionism




Medical and psychiatric institutions have a long history of regulating and pathologizing the bodies of non-normative individuals. The harmful normativity of these institutions is particularly salient for trans* people pursuing gender-affirming medical care, as popular media representations of trans* identity reinforce narratives of certainty and aspirations towards cisgender standards of corporeality which rarely map onto authentic narratives of trans*ness. For the gender deviant subject, who conceives of hirself beyond these hegemonic notions of identity, navigating these institutions often requires a false projection of identity that fits the standard narrative, simply as a means to an end. In doing so, the gender deviant subject manipulates the normativity of these medical and psychiatric institutions in order to stretch the boundaries of socially accepted identity, a mentality and way of being in the world which offers liberatory possibilities for coalition across non-normative identity groups who face subjugation by the dominant regulatory apparatus.


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