The point I wish to make is that non-transexuality is equally complicit in this dialectic, but that its complicity is masked by making binary gender--reduced to SRS--the responsibility of transexuals alone.
In short, SRS for transexuals is replete with discourse about choice, who should be the proper agent of decision making, and the consequences of making those choices.
But rather than arguing for these analogies on behalf of transexuals, I want to turn the tables and ask: how are non-transexuals able to dismiss these analogies as disanalogies?
29) I argue there that "transgender" does something that "transexual" does not: it provides a collective name for all and any kind of gender-variant identity and behavior--from transexuals and transvestites to (potentially) stone butches and effeminate gay men.
Without this move, binary gender becomes the ground for non-transexuals' naturalized experience of somatic completeness, against which the figure of the transexual must explain itself.
Cressida Heyes argues powerfully that the discourse of suffering at the heart of transexuals' disanalogies of SRS to "cosmetic" surgeries is politically complicated by reducing transexual selfhood to victimhood.
1) I ask this apparently counterintuitive question--framed in terms of choice--as a male non-transexual who has conducted ethnographic research on transgender and transexual politics over the past twenty years.
Thus, in this paper I will not make simple analogies between SRS and other kinds of modern self-making practices to argue that SRS is just one of many "enhancement technologies" (5) of which modern transexual and non-transexual subjects may avail themselves, and that as such, it should escape critique.
In Gender Outlaw, Kate Bornstein, a transexual woman, writes that "I accept the label transsexual as meaning only that I was dissatisfied with my given gender, and I acted to change it.
For many of my transexual study participants, however, all these claims--feminist, medical, and voluntarist--are forcefully countered by the argument that SRS is never a "choice.