18 Berkeley Women's L.J. 15 (2003)
Resisting Medicine, Re/modeling Gender

handle is hein.journals/berkwolj18 and id is 21 raw text is: Resisting Medicine, Re/modeling Gender
Dean Spadet
How do you know you want rhinoplasty, a nose job? he inquires, fixing me
with a penetrating stare.
Because, I reply, suddenly unable to raise my eyes above his brown wing-
tips, I've always felt like a small-nosed woman trapped in a large-nosed
And how long have you felt this way? He leans forward, sounding as if he
knows the answer and needs only to hear the words.
Oh, since I was five or six, doctor, practically all my life.
Then you have rhino-identity disorder, the shoetops state flatly. My body
sags in relief. But first, he goes on, we want you to get letters from two
psychiatrists and live as a small-nosed woman for three years... just to be
Everywhere that trans2 people appear in the law, a heavy reliance on medi-
Copyright  2003, The Regents of University of California.
t. Dean Spade is a transgender attorney in New York City, and founder of the Sylvia Rivera
Legal Resource Program at the Urban Justice Center, a law project serving low-income
transgender, transsexual, intersex and gender transgressive people. He is also the co-editor
of the online journal www.makezine.org. He would like to thank Paisley Currah, Shannon
Minter, Craig Willse, Boots Hanssmann, Az, Dylan Vade, Jodie Marksamer, and Chris
Daley for their continued contributions to his thinking on this topic, and Tucker Culbertson
for his editorial assistance.
2. Like many communities resisting oppression, the trans community uses ever-evolving terms
to describe our articulation of non-normative identities and our struggles against a coercive
binary gender system. In this article, I use several terms to name the set of people my work
aims to assist. I use the words trans and gender transgressive frequently. I use trans
to indicate people who identify as transgender, transsexual, or within the transgender spec-


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