History of Transgender Essays

9464 Words Jul 4th, 2014 38 Pages
A time-line of transgender identities.

© 1999 Drs. Arianne van der Ven


Summery 2

Introduction: The development of gender as we know it
How does history relate to us? 3
From a one-gender system to a two-gender system, and on to ‘third sex’ categories. 3
Some specifics of gender transitions. 5

Part I: Sexology begins.
Transgender Identities before the 19th century 7
The early 19th century: Enters forensic psychiatry 7
The late nineteenth century: Inverts turn to Experts.
Enters sexology and the empirical case history. 8

Part II: Early 20th century The rise of Psychoanalysis and it's denial of transgender identities
Developments in Medical technology.
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Among these gender-inverts we find the homosexual, the hermaphrodite (intersexual), the transvestite and the 'complete invert' (transsexual). The last category suffering from 'seeliches transsexualismus' (Hirshfeld 1912).

Part II describes the second fifty years of psychiatry (1910-1960), when psychoanalysis turned the table between gender and sexuality. To Freud gender was a simple matter of genital fact, and transgender practice (like cross-dressing or expressing transsexual longing) a mere denial of homosexuality. Transgender operations came to a standstill.

Part III shows how, after the absolute dominance of psychoanalysis waned in the 1960’s, psychiatry reinstated transgender identities, under the names of transsexuality and cross-dressing. In the 1980's psychiatry gradually relaxed the many requirements imposed on transgenders to be eligible for complete and partial medical treatments. At the same time a TG community in the US reshaped itself, using inclusive terms like ‘transgender’ and political ones like ‘freedom of gender-expression’. This way the US TG community started to gain control over its representation in the media, and to influence it’s member’s view of itself in a non-psychiatric way. Under an even more inclusive term of Queer identities, some transgenders in the US reunited themselves strategically with the gay and lesbian

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