EPILOGUE
r -,
ne major objection to the claims made in this book will be that in
I
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recent years some transsexuals have worked against the medical regu-
~
lation of transsexualism, attempting to depathologize its definition
as well as to guarantee access to necessary procedures without stigmatizing
transsexuals as mental misfits. This objection would seem to suggest that trans-
sexuals themselves are not invested in establishing and maintaining a relation
to the medical institution, as I have argued throughout this text, but work
in opposition to it, gaining access to the requisite medical treatments despite
a fundamental antipathy to the regulatory mode of medical surveillance. In
this scenario, the transsexual subject who demands medical treatment in the
form of technological interventions to change sex resents the medicalization
of transsexualism as a "gender disorder" and contacts the medical establish-
ment only because medical doctors are the stewards of such treatment and
therefore regulate its use.
Another question that will arise as a result of my research concerns the
status of "transgenderism," a relatively new term that describes either the
cross-gender community as a whole, or, more speCifically, those subjects who
choose partial technological "sex change," or those who cross-live without the
technological mediation of medical intervention (although other technologi-
cal mediations might be engaged). This question challenges my understand-
ing of transsexualism insofar as the existence of the second two transgender
options, with their emphasis on partiality-of sex change, of gender perfor-
mances-suggests that there are subjects whose desire to be the other sex also
involves an implicit repudiation of the binary "gender system." In this sense,
transgenderism is understood to transgress the order of gender by flaunting
disobedience to the idea that "sex," "gender," and "sexuality" must be intelli-
gible within a bipolar, heterosexual framework. Kate Bornstein, for example,
suggests that the word "transgendered" should be used to signify "transgres-
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