Gender Transition Is An Intelligible And Recognizable Rite Of Passage

794 WordsSep 5, 20164 Pages
Gender transition makes for a provocative quilting point as it shapes Western social conventions regarding binary-gender identities into an intelligible and recognizable rite-of-passage. Originally theorized by anthropologist Arnold Van Gennep (date), rites-of-passage configure social status-changes into a visible tripartite process denoted by a starting point of separation, followed by a transitional (or liminal) stage, and concluding with a reinstallation back into society under the new station (CITE). While the process is undertaken by, and therefore has been ostensibly created for, the individual initiate, rites-of-passage are constituted and maintained by the State, which institutionally signifies passage from one phase of the process to another. Each gradation – in the case of gender transition, the individual’s divorce from their prior status as a recognizable ‘man’ or ‘woman’, the mediated liminal state that includes hormone replacement therapy, real-life test, ongoing therapeutic consultation, surgical remedies, and the re-aggregation (Turner 363) noted through post-operative letters and/or changed government documents – is orchestrated, measured and controlled. The expected and rewarded end result is for the transgender individual to be recognized as analogous as cisgender. In a binary-gendered society, such passing defines a successful gendered rite-of-passage; conversely, to be ‘trans’ is to located ‘betwixt and between’ (Turner 1969) the dominant gender

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