Lessons from Jim Crow: What Those Seeking Self-Determination for Transgender Individuals Can Learn from American's History with Racial Classification Categories
13 Pages Posted: 24 Oct 2012
Date Written: 2009
This paper compares the ways in which sociological biases and prejudices have affected racial classification categories throughout American legal history with the ways in which sociological biases and prejudices currently affect sex classification categories. In the end, this article argues that classification categories have historically been used throughout American history to classify individuals based upon others' perceptions of those individuals, and that, as understood in the context of racial classification categories, American society has historically rejected any assertion in favor self-determination as a determinative factor and has, instead, treated self-determination rather dismissively in the racial classificatin context. This larger social history then provides an understanding of the way in which American legal society understands the legal classification of an individual's identity. Given this history, those who advocate for self-determination for transgender individuals must concurrently address this reality of America's racial history precisely because this racial history provides the lens through which Americans view all legal classifications of identity.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation