While scrolling down my Facebook feed, I am struck by a title “Transgender people are completely banned from boarding airplanes in Canada.” This resonates with my current interest of the study of Queerbodies and text. Specifically, I am interested in how various texts, such as law and public policy, discriminate against Queerbodies either through the removing power from or through the placement of barriers.
Here is the blog that caught my eye–> http://chrismilloy.ca/2012/01/transgender-people-are-completely-banned-from-boarding-airplanes-in-canada/
According to this initial blog, Canada’s Ministry of Transportation put forth a piece discriminatory regulation that reads:
“5.2 (1) An air carrier shall not transport a passenger if …
(c) the passenger does not appear to be of the gender indicated on the identification he or she presents;”
What does this text mean for Queerbodies?
This rule is part of Canada’s “Passenger Protect” which is very similar to our own “No-fly” list. If a Queerbodied person presents a passport with one gender while their body is presents a differing gender, the Queerbodied person allegedly would not be allowed to fly (the attached blog loosely explains this issue of gender, ID’s and flying in Canada in more depth).
This is an issue of the gender binary, where an individual must identify as either female or male. This socially imposed system of biological sex is not new. For example, a child is birthed into the world, the mid-wife or physician announces the child as a boy or girl.
Historically, the Catholic Church “messed” with gender through its use of eunuchs (boys who’s male anatomy was altered for the purpose of preventing adolescence and preserving voice). Infants wore clothing that did not announce gender, such as this image of Louis XV in 1712 (pink satin dress!).
Since this is my 1st blog, I will skip ahead a bit here. Relatively new are the strict gender roles of pink and blue. In fact, until the 1950’s boys could and did wear pink. Gender, of course, becomes an issue of culture and socialization. I am not an expert on any of these subjects however; I am interested on expanding my understanding of gender, Queerbodies, & text. While this blog post does not examine in depth the roles of gender and text in our modern world as a whole, I am interested in beginning to explore this idea.