Trans(itional) Geographies: Bodies, Binaries, Places and Spaces

Authored by: Lynda Johnston , Robyn Longhurst

The Routledge Research Companion to Geographies of Sex and Sexualities

Print publication date:  May  2016
Online publication date:  May  2016

Print ISBN: 9781472455482
eBook ISBN: 9781315613000
Adobe ISBN: 9781317043331


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In a joint interview Cindy, aged 73, and Sarah, aged 54, talked about their experiences of transitioning from male to female and explained that it is now possible to be designated X instead of male or female in New Zealand passports. Cindy said: ‘… it means your sex is undetermined.., While this move to using X can be viewed as a positive step towards recognizing that sex and gender are fluid, Cindy explained: ‘[but] it’s not ideal because a lot of computers will not recognize it.’ Sarah added: ‘It’s not totally international.’ This meant that when Cindy returned from Sydney to New Zealand she faced a problem: ‘the computer wouldn’t compute the X and it wouldn’t issue a boarding pass.’ The issue of the boarding pass was resolved by calling a supervisor, however, and Cindy has since changed her passport to F for female. We begin this chapter with Cindy and Sarah’s story about passports because it speaks to some of the challenges, and resistances posed by gender diversity for trans people (also see Doan, 2010, p. 637 on passports).

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