Monro, Surya (2007) Beyond the Binaries: Theorising Gender Diversity. In: Transgender / Intersex & Law Workshop: An Agenda for Future Research, 17th - 18th April 2007, Keele University, UK. (Unpublished)

This paper explores the territory that is opened up when gender binaries are disrupted or displaced. The gender binary system is problematised by some trans and intersex people, by sissy boys and tomboys, by butch dykes and camp men, and by many others. Sexual orientation binaries are also destabilised when people move between, or beyond, gay and straight identities. Gender and sexual dimorphism are continually reinscribed, and people who move beyond - or exist outside of - the binary system, are socially excluded in a range of ways.

The paper explores different ways of theorising gender and sexuality beyond the gender binary system. I critically evaluate a range of theories concerning gender in relation to gender diversity. I then explore a number of alternatives that draw on poststructuralism, but combine this with recognition of its limitations. These alternatives can be separated into three ideal types: the broadening of the gender binary system, degendering, and gender pluralism.

The paper utilises empirical material from three main studies. Firstly, an in depth exploration of trans politics, which included transsexuals, intersex people, cross-dressers, drag kings and queens and others. Secondly, data from a small study of gender and sexual diversity in India, and lastly, a further small research project with a number of bisexual, lesbian and gay, and trans people.

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