Conférence de Kristen Schilt dans le cadre de l'événement "Le corps en perspective: approches de genre interdisciplinaires"
In this talk, I explore what happens to individuals who make a major bodily and/or identity transformation in arenas commonly understood to be biologically determined. I will focus on two cases studies: 1) individuals who make a physical gender transition; 2) individuals who lose 100 or more pounds via weight loss surgery. As radical changes to embodiment, these cases overlap in many ways. Where these cases diverge, however, is within the social expectations about whether or not such a change is possible. Weight loss patients are attempting a change in an achieved status (weight) that carries social expectations for fluctuation, and rewards change in a particular direction (loss). Transgender people, in contrast, are attempting a change in an ascribed status generally expected to remain static (gender), and for which there are social penalities for attempted change. I explore two competing frames people use to make sense of such changes: becoming a new you or becoming your true self.