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Ageing Bodies that Matter: Age, Gender and Embodiment in Older Transgender People's Life Stories
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.
2015 (English)In: NORA: Nordic Journal of Feminist and Gender Research, ISSN 0803-8740, E-ISSN 1502-394X, Vol. 23, no 1, 4-19 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Within feminist and queer studies, age is rarely explored or theorized, and ageing is to a great extent ignored, while social gerontology tends to rest on assumptions of stable binary gender categories. This article starts with older trans people's life stories to explore intersections between (old) age, gender, and embodiment. The analysis, using a theoretical framework developed within critical gerontology, queer theory, and feminist theory, illustrates what ageing and old age may mean for transgender people. Bodily ageing is perceived very differently by trans people, depending on bodily conditions and on how they can and want to perform gender. While some experience what they perceive as the androgyny of age positively, other narratives illustrate how ageing can complicate the possibilities of performing linear gender. The ageing body can limit prospects for undergoing sex reassignment surgery (SRS). The analysis illustrates how older trans people may face ageist attitudes during the transition processes. Later life and the future might also bring fears about situations in which one will need care. For older trans people, this could mean fears of being discriminated against, having fewer possibilities to choose which contexts to be in, and which persons to have in one's home and close to one's body. A Baradian approach, in which bodies are seen as agential and performativity as material-discursive, offers complex understandings of older transgender people's experiences. The results trouble previous theoretical concepts, while highlighting the importance of broadening understandings of age, gender, and embodiment that do not take their starting-points in younger or middle age, linear gender, or abled congruent bodies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis Group, 2015. Vol. 23, no 1, 4-19 p.
Keyword [en]
Age, Aging, Transgender, Embodiment, Intersectionality, Gender, Queer
Keyword [sv]
Ålder, åldrande, trans, kroppslighet, kropp, materialitet, intersektionalitet, genus, kön, queer
National Category
Gender Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-117502DOI: 10.1080/08038740.2014.979869OAI: diva2:808687
Available from: 2015-04-29 Created: 2015-04-29 Last updated: 2015-04-30

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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
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