Uncaring systems and the production of trans* subjectivites: exploring digital spaces of trans* care
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As documented by trans and queer scholars, trans* people face a fundamental paradox in accessing care (Stone 1992, Butler 2004, Spade 2006). In order to access gender affirming care, trans people are implicated in a care system that is uncaring in its approaches to trans and gender non-conforming people. However, changes in the ways trans bodies and identities are conceptualized in care spaces has resulted in a refiguring of trans care resulting in a shift in the geographies and spaces of trans. The resulting shift in trans care geographies is an uneven one; both geographically but also in the ways different trans bodies experience these care spaces based on age, gender, race and sexuality. In this thesis, I will explore the ways in which trans* people use digital spaces to reform and work through available networks of care. Drawing from digital research on institutional care websites and YouTube videos as well as auto-ethnographic reflection, I critically address the strategies, techniques and methods implicated in trans* care. Following the work of Gray (2009), my aim in examining these digital spaces of bodily and subjective production is to explore the ways trans* people interpret themselves as well as the condition under which trans* people are cared for and about. By threading through past work on care politics and care geographies, my work asks how these videos point to the ways in which the current care system is uncaring for trans* and gender non-conforming people. Finally, my research points to and demands for a more multi-scalar and relational approach to trans* geographies. This approach would connect the multiple sites and processes imbricated in the production of and governing of trans* lives.
- Geography