Nothing to Fix: Medicalisation of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

SAGE Publications India
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The theory and practice of medicine remains central to the concerns of persons identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex or others. Individuals who have homosexual desires or feel transgender or are born intersex are often taken against their will to medical professionals. Instead of receiving affirmative support, they have distressing experiences of violence and violations. The narratives of such violence and violation include treatments offered for converting homosexuals to heterosexuals, humiliation of transgender people within the institution, and emergency surgeries of intersex infants who, due to the collusion between surgeons and parents, face the scalpel to convert them into an ‘acceptable’ gender. Further, everyday struggles of LGBT persons like suicidality and depression are dealt with less sensitively owing to the pathologisation of their identities. The most critical challenge here is the one pertaining to the need to change mindsets of doctors who are still insistently focused on changing their patients’ sexual orientation or still exhibit prejudice when it comes to dealing with their transgender patients. As a starting point for change, this anthology brings together writing by medical professionals and queer activists which is beginning to question heteronormativity within the field of medicine. The essays in this volume begin by outlining the frameworks on which the mental health and other medical sectors have posited homosexual desire and transgender or intersex identities. They then argue that sexual orientation and gender identity are not to be seen as pathologies and suggest forms of engagement that are more affirmative of LGBT identities. Finally, they look at the interface between law, medicine and human rights as a starting point of a change in the perception of LGBT persons. Aiming to incubate serious and sustained work on the centrality of the medical establishment to queer lives, this anthology will be of particular interest to medical practitioners, queer activists, members of the LGBT community, and all readers who believe that every individual should receive medical attention that is shorn of prejudice of any kind.
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About the author

Arvind Narrain is an advocate and founder member of the Alternative Law Forum, Bangalore. He is the author of Queer: Despised Sexuality, Law and Social Change and co-editor of Because I Have a Voice: Queer Politics in India, along with Gautam Bhan. He has also co-edited Law Like Love with Alok Gupta. Arvind was one of the team of lawyers representing those who challenged Section 377 both in the High Court of Delhi and the Supreme Court of India.

Vinay Chandran is a counsellor and Executive Director of Swabhava Trust, Bangalore, a non-governmental organisation working with issues related to gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and similar (LGBT) populations. He set up the Bangalore-based telephone helpline called Sahaya in 2000, and has worked on linking support services with LGBT communities. His areas of research and interest include sexuality, sexual health, counselling, gender, masculinities and ethics. He is also a trainer on all these issues and has worked with various state AIDS prevention organisations to train diverse groups on working with sexuality, sexual health, counselling and HIV.

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Additional Information

Publisher
SAGE Publications India
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Published on
Dec 17, 2015
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Pages
340
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ISBN
9789351509165
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Language
English
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Genres
Social Science / Gender Studies
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Adam Carolla
A couple years back, I was at the Phoenix airport bar.  It was empty except for one heavy-set, gray bearded, grizzled guy who looked like he just rode his donkey into town after a long day of panning for silver in them thar hills.  He ordered a Jack Daniels straight up, and that's when I overheard the young guy with the earring behind the bar asking him if he had ID.  At first the old sea captain just laughed.  But the guy with the twinkle in his ear asked again.  At this point it became apparent that he was serious.  Dan Haggerty's dad fired back, "You've got to be kidding me, son."  The bartender replied, "New policy.  Everyone has to show their ID."  Then I watched Burl Ives reluctantly reach into his dungarees and pull out his military identification card from World War II.

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From the Hardcover edition.
Laura Jane Grace
ONE OF BILLBOARD'S "100 GREATEST MUSIC BOOKS OF ALL TIME"

The provocative transgender advocate and lead singer of the punk rock band Against Me! provides a searing account of her search for identity and her true self.

It began in a bedroom in Naples, Florida, when a misbehaving punk teenager named Tom Gabel, armed with nothing but an acoustic guitar and a headful of anarchist politics, landed on a riff. Gabel formed Against Me! and rocketed the band from its scrappy beginnings-banging on a drum kit made of pickle buckets-to a major-label powerhouse that critics have called this generation's The Clash. Since its inception in 1997, Against Me! has been one of punk's most influential modern bands, but also one of its most divisive. With every notch the four-piece climbed in their career, they gained new fans while infuriating their old ones. They suffered legal woes, a revolving door of drummers, and a horde of angry, militant punks who called them "sellouts" and tried to sabotage their shows at every turn.

But underneath the public turmoil, something much greater occupied Gabel-a secret kept for 30 years, only acknowledged in the scrawled-out pages of personal journals and hidden in lyrics. Through a troubled childhood, delinquency, and struggles with drugs, Gabel was on a punishing search for identity. Not until May of 2012 did a Rolling Stone profile finally reveal it: Gabel is a transsexual, and would from then on be living as a woman under the name Laura Jane Grace.

Tranny is the intimate story of Against Me!'s enigmatic founder, weaving the narrative of the band's history, as well as Grace's, with dozens of never-before-seen entries from the piles of journals Grace kept. More than a typical music memoir about sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll-although it certainly has plenty of that-Tranny is an inside look at one of the most remarkable stories in the history of rock.
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