Surveillance & Society, Vol 6, No 4 (2009)

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Artful Concealment and Strategic Visibility: Transgender Bodies and U.S. State Surveillance After 9/11

Toby Beauchamp

Abstract


This article considers recent measures of U.S. state surveillance that may first appear unrelated to transgender people, to demonstrate that such policies are in fact deeply rooted in the maintenance and enforcement of normatively gendered bodies, behaviors and identities. The paper argues that surveillance of these bodies centers less on their identification as transgender per se than it does on the perceived deception underlying transgressive or non-normative gender presentation. Finally, the paper argues that the primary strategies and responses offered by transgender advocacy organizations tend to reconsolidate U.S. nationalism and support the increased policing of deviant bodies.

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