Vidal-Ortiz, S. 2009. “The Figure of the Transwoman of Color through the Lens of ‘Doing Gender'”.

Vidal-Ortiz, Salvador. 2009. “The Figure of the Transwoman of Color through the Lens of ‘Doing Gender.’” Gender and Society 23 (1): 99-103.

Inquires: what do you imagine the transwoman of color?

Notes own standpoint: nontrans queer man, ethno-raical minority.

Praises DG as moving past internalization of gender to interactionalist understandings – particularly salient for transpeople “whose gender identity is often conceived alternately as the achievement of their ‘true selves,’ or as a mental disorder” (100). Transpersons do not DG more than anyone or excel at gender attributions.

“The interactional constitution of gender permits us to recognize the manner in which these discursive practices oversimplify the lived experiences of transpeople” (100)

Notes focus of work in DG, in application to transpersons – migratory, transnational, racial impacts – distinctions of (often-white) depictions of what labor should be. Blurred for women of color, depending on their socioeconomic status and other colonial/immigrant factors.

W&Z: gender displays are not optional – “people rarely have the ‘option of being seen by other as female or male” (1987, 130). Focus on sex work as a means to create agency, offer an opportunity that other outlets of work may have denied based upon racialized, sexualized femininization.

Argues that the trans* experience needs to move past focus on surgery and transition into the daily lives and experiences of trans* – moving ideas past gender and sex and into sexuality, race, political economies, migration, militarization, colonization, and globalization.


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