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CUNY Hunter College

Publication Date

Spring 2007

Program Name

The Netherlands: Sexuality and Gender Identity

Abstract

In the Netherlands, treatment for transsexual individuals has been institutionalized through the protocol established at the Vrije Universiteit Gender Clinic. However, for the population of transgender-identified individuals, those who transgress the gender binary and who identify among or in-between genders, the four phases of transition often do not suit their unique needs and expressions of gender identity. In this study, I examined the narratives of 9 trans-identified individuals who have utilized the services at the Gender Clinic. To supplement my analysis of these interviews, I spoke with S. Leigh Thompson, founder and acting director of the TransMasculine Community Network, Jos Megens, coordinator of the Vrije Universiteit Gender Clinic, and Drs. Eliza Steinbock, who clarified cross-cultural trends of community involvement and theoretical phenomenon. The 12 interviews revealed that the unsatisfactory experiences of transgender-identified individuals at the Gender Clinic co-existed with a lack of community involvement and motivation for change. This phenomenon can be attributed to the legal atmosphere in the Netherlands, aspects of Dutch culture, and the de-politicizing effect of standardization on cultural identity and community participation. Analysis also revealed the manifestation of two kinds of community involvement, socially invested and that grounded in a political agenda.

Disciplines

Gender and Sexuality

 

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