A Review of Transgender Jurisprudence: Dysphoric Bodies of Law
6 Pages Posted: 15 Dec 2011 Last revised: 28 Dec 2011
Date Written: December 15, 2011
This is a book review of Andrew Sharpe's "Transgender Jurisprudence: Dysphoric Bodies of Law." The Author discusses the contribution Sharpe makes to the transgender rights movement as invaluable for two reasons. First, it provides the first in-depth and full-length comprehensive treatment of the topic of transgender jurisprudence, and emerges as the foundational work by which others will be measured. Second, it exposes the homophobia underlying many of the key decisions, particularly in the area of marriage and family law, and provides an important link between the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender movements which should not be ignored by activists from both worlds. The Author reports the book is broken down into three parts. In Part I, 'Approaching Transgender Bodies', Sharpe provides a comprehensive medical history of transgender in order to set the stage for the analysis of the non-marriage cases that follow, cases that take on the legal question of male/female status. In Part II, 'Homophobia as Subtext', Sharpe exposes the homophobia that serves as the subtext in cases involving marriages of trans gender people. In Part III, 'Sex: From Designation to Discrimination', Sharpe analyses cases involving discrimination against transgender litigants in which the court need not answer the question of what someone's sex is but rather whether transgender people fit into non-discrimination law. The Author concludes that Sharpe's most valuable contribution to transgender law is setting forth models by which virtually all transgender cases involving legal determinations of sex can be classified.
Keywords: transgender rights, civil rights, lesbian, gay, bisexual, homophobia, civil rights and discrimination, sexuality and the law
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