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date: 13 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter provides an overview of how gender identity and transgender rights have been defined in an LGBT rights framework, what international and regional organizations and social actors have defined as fundamental trans rights, and, finally, the limitations of applying a homogenizing “trans rights” framework to a vastly disparate array of gender liminal subjectivities and practices. First, the chapter defines the scope and reach of a “trans rights” framework as housed within “LGBT” legal and organizational practices. Next, it outlines the key issues that international and regional trans rights activists, advocates, and academics have outlined as central to addressing their own communities’ needs. Importantly, while the popularity of collapsing sexual and gender minorities into an “LGBT” framework would suggest a coherence of shared identities and practices across cultural and regional experience, this framework may, instead, function to elide profound differences in the formation and application of primarily North Atlantic and Anglophone understandings of “rights” and “needs.” Rather, as discussed in internationally and regionally focused reports, activist needs assessments, and academic work, trans and gender liminal rights have been, regionally, best addressed and met by organizations and groups that are not housed within an “LGBT” framework or organization. Finally, the chapter discusses how approaching “trans rights” through a lens of gender self-determination, rather than as a category of mutually understood and identifiable subjectivities and experiences across different communities of practice, may function to bolster shared rights claims while also, simultaneously, delimiting or delegitimizing overly formulaic understandings of gender experience and expression.

Keywords: transgender, gender identity, trans rights, gender self-determination, community-based research

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