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Clinical Trans/Aesthetics: the Knowledge Re/production of Transgender Womxn who Exchange Sex

Mintzer, Benjamin I. J.

While there is a cornucopia of writing on transgender and sex worker identities vis-à-vis gender and sexuality studies, there is lacuna of transgender worldviews and knowledge re/production beyond these political pigeonholes. When research does include direct quotes from transgender and sex worker informants, more often than not, it is either to bolster the claims of the researcher or to piece together an ethnography. In both cases, the research does not center the informant’s affective and intellectual reasonings, beyond questions of gender and health. This leaves the critical thought of trans womxn sex workers out of the picture. This exclusion is unfortunate because the trans sex workers’ situation gives them a unique vantage point for understanding the world(s) in which we live and beyond. Trans womxn who exchange sex re/produces knowledge that privileged epistemologies do not adequately articulate. But pairing and challenging these hegemonic modes of thinking with trans knowledge re/production, there is a synergy. This dialectic expands the delimited frameworks of hegemonic thought—a critical trans/aesthetic theory. This thesis then develops a clinical trans/aesthetics to critique interviews with trans womxn sex workers in an attempt to make legible the population’s overlooked, elusive and devalued knowledge.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Institute for the Study of Human Rights
Thesis Advisors
Goehr, Lydia D.
Rubenstein, Diane S.
Degree
M.A., Columbia University
Published Here
July 24, 2019
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