Home Institution

CUNY Hunter College

Publication Date

Spring 2007

Program Name

The Netherlands: Sexuality and Gender Identity


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.


Gender and Sexuality


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