ABSTRACT

This chapter focuses on men who transgender because the ideology and practices of transgenderism were invented by men. It seeks to explain why this most important change in terminology has taken place. The construction of transgenderism in the late twentieth century resembles, in important respects, the construction of the homosexual. The idea that the homosexual is not someone innately destined to be sexually attracted to their own sex is also controversial in large parts of the gay community, but has not led to such vitriol and invective. The term transsexual was coined in the 1950s to describe those persons who wished to change their sex, and popularized by the endocrinologist Harry Benjamin The Transsexual Phenomenon. The lessons that critical lesbian and gay, and feminist scholarship contribute to the understanding of transgenderism are that its construction serves the political agenda of shoring up heterosexuality and maintaining a correctly gendered citizenry.