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Life as theatre: older transgender persons’ experiences of ageing and gender identity
Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, NISAL - National Institute for the Study of Ageing and Later Life. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2012 (English)Conference paper, Presentation (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Older LGBTQ (Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer)identifying persons have during their lifetime witnessed andexperienced many juridical and social changes in attitudestowards sexual and gender identities. There is however a lack ofresearch on this subject in a Nordic context, especially in the caseof older trans identities.This presentation explores age and ageing in relation totransgender identities. It is based on life story interviews withpersons identifying as transgender aged 65 to 77 years old,made within a dissertation project about older GLBTQ identifyingpersons. The theoretical frame used consists of socialgerontological perspectives and queer theory. Three themes arefocused; the relation to gender throughout the life course; theageing body; and the lack of knowledge on trans issues.The results illustrate how trans identities and practices havebeen seen as inaccessible during big parts of life, but that adifferent context in combination with being in third age canoffer new possibilities to be open. There are also experiences ofattempts to undergo sex reassignment surgery, but facing thefact that health and the ageing body are making this wishimpossible. Some persons express worries for ageing and futureneed of care where they fear they might be discriminated. Thereare also experiences of a big lack of knowledge about transissues. One conclusion is that while it is possible to talk about a“homonormativity”, where the homosexual subject undercertain circumstances is seen as more respectable in generaldiscourses, transgender identities have not reached this point ifthey are not made invisible; something that can be hard toachieve with an ageing body that has not underwent sexreassignment surgery.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
transgender, ageing, age
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-80137OAI: diva2:545805
21 Nordic Congress of Gerontology 10-13 june in Copenhagen, Denmark
Available from: 2012-08-21 Created: 2012-08-21 Last updated: 2012-08-27

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Siverskog, Anna
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NISAL - National Institute for the Study of Ageing and Later LifeFaculty of Arts and Sciences
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary

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