Interrogating the Plurality of Trans’genders: A Close Reading of Male to Female Transsexual Autobiographies
Keywords:Gender, Transgender, Queer, Body, Self, Mind and Patriarchy
In the present paper an attempt has been made to explore the multiple genders with the close reading of two auto/biographies, A Truth about Me: A Story of My Life by A. Revati (2010) and Me Laxmi, Me Hijra by Laxminarayan Thripati (2015). A gender theorist, Judith Butler in Undoing Gender states “Gender is not exactly what one “is” nor it is precisely what one “has.” Gender is apparatus by which the production and normalization of masculine and feminine take place along with the interstitial forms of hormonal, chromosomal, psychic, and performative that gender assumes.” (54). This statement can be taken for the support to state that gender is fluid which has not been restricted to binaries and one must dare to express it if he/she does not feel to fit into the gender roles confirmed by the patriarchal society. That’s how a transsexual, Laxmi lives embracing her identity as a ‘hijra’ than fitting into the box of gender binaries. She says, “A hijra is neither a man nor a woman. She is feminine, but not a woman. He is masculine, a male by birth, but not a man either. A hijra’s male body is a trap- not just to the hijra itself who suffocates within it, but to the world in general that assumes a hijra to be a man” (40). But another autobiography by a transsexual, A. Revati acts as a counter narrative for it. Revati’s story reveals the fact that her essence of life lies in ‘becoming a woman’. She says, “To become a woman, to turn feminine, all I needed to do was get rid of this male object and I would become
free to be a woman, like other women” (66). Shifting changes in the lives of transgender and transsexual, their new approaches to look at their mind, body and identity reveal the fact that the socio- cultural elements play predominant role in constructing their selves. Thus the paper examines and interrogates the experiences and life situations of these transsexuals in light of the issues such as different gender expressions, and multiple gender identities within the transgender categories. The paper also focuses on the issues of ‘becoming a woman’, fe/maleness, authorship and the construction of trans bodies and identities with different/new perspectives. The paper is grounded on transgender and transsexual theories for the approach.
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