chapter  15
10 Pages

THE POLITICS OF TRANSGENDERISM*

WithJanice Raymond

The opening sentence of The Transsexual Empire was ‘Transsexualism has taken only twenty-five years to become a household word’. Things were relatively simpler then, with normatively different sexual and gender behaviour pretty much encapsulated under the headings lesbian/homosexual, transvestism and transsexualism. Today, fifteen years later, things are more complex, and a plethora of terms such as ‘transgendered’, ‘re-gendered’, ‘gender blending’, ‘gender bending’, ‘gender fucking’ and ‘transhomosexuality’ have been added to the lexicon of so-called ‘gender dissonant’ behaviour. The film tribute to certain aspects of the transgender phenomenon is Paris Is Burning and, more recently, The Crying Game.