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Reworking Testosterone as a Man's Hormone: Non-binary People using Testosterone within a Binary Gender System

Reworking Testosterone as a Man's Hormone: Non-binary People using Testosterone within a Binary... Testosterone, deemed the ‘male hormone’, is a central method used by transgender men to enact gendered bodily changes. Testosterone is framed as a means for transgender men to align their external ‘female’ bodies with their internal male genders because it is positioned by medical and social logics as a kind of distilled masculinity. While recognising both the ways that trans men always already subvert and usurp these logics, the coherence of these logics is further undercut when assigned female at birth non-binary people, who do not feel themselves to be men, are, in increasing numbers, using exogenous testosterone. Using qualitative interviews with seven non-binary people, this article grapples with the desire of these participants to use testosterone, without being tied to masculinity, maleness or men. In this article, I first focus on how these participants re-formed testosterone as a substance that can unmake, rather than confirm gender. Secondly, I look at how their use of testosterone rejects the centrality of an alignment between an internal gender and an external body. And finally, in turning to the process of ‘coming out as a testosterone user’ I explore how one participant asserted themselves not as a concrete and clear identity, but rather as a self in action. All three negotiations point to new logics of what testosterone is and could be, how it arises and moves with gender, and how these selves may begin to exist in new and novel ways. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Somatechnics Edinburgh University Press

Reworking Testosterone as a Man's Hormone: Non-binary People using Testosterone within a Binary Gender System

Somatechnics , Volume 9 (1): 19 – Apr 1, 2019

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Publisher
Edinburgh University Press
Copyright
Copyright © Edinburgh University Press
ISSN
2044-0138
eISSN
2044-0146
DOI
10.3366/soma.2019.0263
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Testosterone, deemed the ‘male hormone’, is a central method used by transgender men to enact gendered bodily changes. Testosterone is framed as a means for transgender men to align their external ‘female’ bodies with their internal male genders because it is positioned by medical and social logics as a kind of distilled masculinity. While recognising both the ways that trans men always already subvert and usurp these logics, the coherence of these logics is further undercut when assigned female at birth non-binary people, who do not feel themselves to be men, are, in increasing numbers, using exogenous testosterone. Using qualitative interviews with seven non-binary people, this article grapples with the desire of these participants to use testosterone, without being tied to masculinity, maleness or men. In this article, I first focus on how these participants re-formed testosterone as a substance that can unmake, rather than confirm gender. Secondly, I look at how their use of testosterone rejects the centrality of an alignment between an internal gender and an external body. And finally, in turning to the process of ‘coming out as a testosterone user’ I explore how one participant asserted themselves not as a concrete and clear identity, but rather as a self in action. All three negotiations point to new logics of what testosterone is and could be, how it arises and moves with gender, and how these selves may begin to exist in new and novel ways.

Journal

SomatechnicsEdinburgh University Press

Published: Apr 1, 2019

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