Trans* Matter Troubling and Disrupting from the In-Between: On Imagining Trans* as Radical Ontological Refusal
MetadataShow full item record
The body is not a neutral entity. Rather, it is always implicated in power structures and part of signifying processes; the body, like ‘text’ in the Derridean sense, is a sign. As such, the body produces meaning and is inscribed with meaning – it reads and writes. One way in which meanings are imposed on a body is through processes of gendering. The body, as visible corporeality, becomes the medium through which understandings of gender are mediated. Since, in the Western framework, gender is understood as reliant on binary conceptions (male and female) and supposed to ‘align’ with gender expressions (masculinity and femininity), the body as corporeal matter that is presupposed to be ‘expressive’ of dualist gender conceptions seems to pose a problem for trans* and gender non-conforming folx* in traversing gender as a binary structure. This thesis engages with questions of the body, materiality, and ontology which are all structured by the symbolic order that upholds gender within a binary cisheteronormative framework. Through problematizing the gender order as reliant on gender as a colonial construct, critically engaging with material-discursively produced binaries, and analyzing how corporeal matter is always relationally structured with/in the symbolic order, this thesis explores the possibility to introduce trans* as radical ontological refusal of gender as a binary system, and investigates how trans* could disrupt gender regimes both on the level of the symbolic and material. In concluding that trans* subjectivities are always already part of the hegemonic symbolic order, and that the desire to disrupt, refuse or ‘go outside’ this order affirms situating trans*ness within the structures of the symbolic, this thesis ultimately explores different entry points to enable potentialities for trans*ness’ be(com)ing. By re/orienting trans* as an ontological affirmation rather than a radical ontological refusal, this project aims to open up different ways of being and doing trans* within/through/of the world by imagining an in- between otherwise through embodied narratives and poetic interventions.