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Sexing it Up: towards new conceptualizations of trans-sexuality in healthcare. Dr Zowie Davy University of Lincoln, UK zdavy@lincoln.ac.uk.

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Sexing it Up: towards new conceptualizations of trans-sexuality in healthcare


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    1. Sexing it Up: towards new conceptualizations of trans-sexuality in healthcare Dr Zowie Davy University of Lincoln, UK zdavy@lincoln.ac.uk

    2. “True transsexuals feel that they belong to the other sex, they want to be and function as members of the opposite sex, not only to appear as such. For them, their sex organs […] are disgusting deformities that must be changed by the surgeon’s knife” (Benjamin, 1966: 11)

    3. The Man who would be Queen: the science of gender-bending and transsexualism (Bailey, 2003) • Autogynephilia • Autoandrophilia • Homosexual transsexual

    4. “pictured as cardboard cutouts with improbable anatomy who will fuck and be fucked by anyone, anything, anytime, in any way” (Blank & Kaldera, 2002: 7)

    5. the success of a vaginoplasty is judged according to the neovagina’s depth, width and ability to accommodate a penis, revealing a strong heterosexual and penetrative prioritization (Hoenig, Kenna, & Youd, 1971). • More recently, the measured sensitivity of the newly formed genitals has figured in post-surgical assessments (Goddard et al, 2007).

    6. “I faithfully reported each foray into heterosexuality to the hospitals noncommittal therapist, desperate to be the good patient upon whom she would confer surgery when my waiting time was up. I finally informed her that I could not be straight [and] that the only thing which still gave me my somewhat limp, estrogen impaired erections were other women” (Wilchins, 1997: 142).

    7. “no continuity of psychic life, […] no stability of sexual identity, no position for women (or for men) which is ever simply achieved” (Rose, 1986).

    8. Deterritorialization: “the process of leaving home, of altering your habits, of learning new tricks” (Crawford, 2008: 133) • “undermines our best attempts at deciding, conclusively, on identities and selves” (Crawford, 2008: 133)

    9. Role play “functions as a means of gender exploration, solidification, resistance, destabilization, and reconfiguration” (Hale, 1997: 226). • “ripping up from a place I hadn’t found before” (Cait, 2006: 106).

    10. “my daily voice, my daily body, my daily fears. I am changing; we are dancing. We have broken through […] and I wondered if I would ever break through, as I wandered through one-night stands and short-time lovers, remembered the details of their bodies, but not their faces, their technique, but not their words” (Wilchins, 1997: 144). • “I am filled with a kind of wonder now, my body showing me things novel and unsuspected” (Wilchins, 1997: 147)

    11. Conclusion • I put this debate forward to sexologists and the healthcare professions in order to undermine their models of trans sexuality that clearly de-eroticizes or hyper-sexualizes transpeople, without due care and attention to the social and cultural productions in which transpeople are free to explore their desires and learn new tricks.