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On the discursive obstacles for a comprehensive and humanized trans-specific healthcare

This paper discusses some discursive obstacles for a comprehensive and humanized trans-specific health care in the Brazilian context. To this end, it compares the experiences with classifying agencies established by Agnes, a participant at the UCLA Gender Clinic in the 1950's, and Vitória, a user of one of the sex reassignment clinics in Brazil. It is argued that although Agnes and Vitória are temporally and geographically afar, they produce very similar identity performances, which are guided by a narrative-essentialist policy that pathologizes and homogenizes transsexualities. The paper defends that this narrative policy may be challenged by narrative-performative microresistances, i.e. life stories that show the classificatory/ diagnostic institutions the multiplicities that constitute our gendered life. These stories may performatively construct new identity regimes in accordance with the chaos that constitutes our identities. It is argued that depathologizing transsexuality is a central strategy to build more trusting intersubjective relations between physicians and transsexual users of the clinics. It is concluded that the depathologization of transsexuality offers a potent alternative for the humanization of trans-specific health-care.

Processo Transexualizador; discourse analysis; humanization; comprehensive healthcare; depathologization


Centro Latino-Americano em Sexualidade e Direitos Humanos (CLAM/IMS/UERJ) R. São Francisco Xavier, 524, 6º andar, Bloco E 20550-013 Rio de Janeiro/RJ Brasil, Tel./Fax: (21) 2568-0599 - Rio de Janeiro - RJ - Brazil
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