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Paying your respects: Transgender women and detransitioning after death

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This paper asks how do the deaths and the postmortem detransitioning (the verbal, visual, and material rejection of a person’s gender identity) of transgender women impact trans activism? After analyzing the case studies of Jennifer Gable and Leelah Alcorn, I outline how the contentious memorialization of transgender women and the disenfranchized grief of survivors influence trans activism. I conclude that activism is characterized by respecting the wishes of the deceased, by preventing the violence which transgender women experience, by advocating for trans elder care, by educating about end-of-life issues, and by lobbying for laws that protect transgender men and women after death.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of History, Susquehanna University, Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania, USA

Publication date: January 2, 2020

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