“You had to use that specific language adamantly, and if you didn’t, then you didn’t get hormones or any other kind of treatment.”

“She describes her move to transition, and he replies something along the lines of, ‘Well, thanks for telling me, and when did you make this decision?’ And she responds, ‘It was more of an erosion than a decision.’ I think of that as an example of trans affect, as ceding to a bodily movement, rather than, ‘Well, I’m going to decide to put on some different clothes tomorrow.’ It’s also notable because one of the things you’ll notice if you start reading a lot of trans memoirs, as I did, is up until probably the late 1990s they all sound the same. This is because there was, and still is, a lot of medical gatekeeping, where you have to present with this particular narrative of being ‘trapped in the wrong body’ for a long time. You also had to identify as heterosexual. You had to use that specific language adamantly, and if you didn’t, then you didn’t get hormones or any other kind of treatment. So in order to medically transition, people ended up telling these stories I think – probably as expected – internalizing them, even if they weren’t necessarily true to their experiences. So one of the ways I tried to intervene in my dissertation by reading for trans affect was to examine how there is still stuff going on in the confines of language that seems, on its surface, very limiting.” – Harlan Weaver, “Interspecies Intersectionalities,” Messy Eating