Essay on How Aminah 's Diagnosis Of An Intersex Transgender

Essay on How Aminah 's Diagnosis Of An Intersex Transgender

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I Interviewed a 20 year old Male to Female transgender (by her own definition) though she is medicalized as intersex she is culturally a transgender female. After my interview my first conversation with Aminah I was intrigued by her understanding of herself and what shaped her illness and the process of seeking treatment. After Aminah explained to me the difference between a “regular transgender” compared to someone intersex I had a good perspective for analysis. Aminah expressed that her transition was her own, that she was in control but some of the things she was explaining to me left me to see that she needed validation from outsiders. Her transition is for herself but her role as a woman can only be confirmed by others. So it is not how she sees herself but how people see her. Through the concepts of power/knowledge and illness narratives I can explain how Aminah’s diagnosis of an intersex transgender can be understood as a socially constructed deviant category that opens the door for biomedical treatment to help the deviants fit into the social binaries of male and female.
We typically look at an illness or disease as belonging to the person who is experiencing it, it is there business and their job to deal with it and heal. Illness as define by Author Kleinman is the processes and experiences that we define and explain to ourselves in a way that makes sense in our current socially constructed sphere. Illness is defined by how is affects our everyday lives (Kleinman 1988). The most outside support and aid we would expect from people, other than those in the medical fields, are close friends and families. This aid is in the form of moral support and emotional healing. However after my interviews with Aminah I could see that ...


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... both exist within the socially constructed gender binaries.
After my interview with Aminah I was able to pull various themes from medical anthropology. The themes that fit the best were power/knowledge and illness narrative that helped me analyze medicalization and the creation of deviant behaviors that need to be treated. Aminah saw her illness as shameful until she received a biomedical explanation that created validation and meaning for her narrative. Her illness is shaped by the socially constructed by deviant behaviors from the outside so it makes sense for her transition to be validated by outside factors. If Aminah was not intersex she could use her sperm to have biological children, but since intersex people are infertile she “will always be broken” where if she was a “regular transgender” her illness would be cured once every looks at her and sees a woman.

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