La Confusion des genres: Transsexuality, Effeminacy and Gay Identity in France

NS Rees-Roberts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

'La confusion des genres' (translatable as genre - but also gender - trouble) indicates a category error. I take up the argument that 'transgender' (the umbrella term for transsexuality and broad cross-gender identification - transgender butch/queen and drag) articulates uncertainty as to the categories of gender and sexual identities. My aim is to expose the strains between transsexual and lesbian and gay identities in the French context through a coverage of different media: from journalism (Hélène Hazera's account of Algerian transgender prostitutes in Paris) to photography (Del LaGrace Volcano's scathing assessment of the French lesbian and gay scene); from theory (a palette ranging from libertarian to psychiatric) to art-house cinema, now casting transgender actors in transgender roles. I end with extended readings of two films that either mix up gender identification with same-sex passion (Ma vie en rose, 1997) or else play off one against the other - Patrice Chéreau's Ceux qui m'aiment prendront le train (1998) offers not only a gay fantasy of transsexuality, but also weaves the effects of AIDS and loss on gay love into the social fabric of the film.
Translated title of the contributionLa Confusion des genres: Transsexuality, Effeminacy and Gay Identity in France
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)281 - 300
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Cultural Studies
Volume7 (3)
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2004

Bibliographical note

Publisher: Sage

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