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The Gender of the Travestis - Essay Example

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In the paper “The Gender of the Travestis” the author analyzes the book Travesti: Sex, Gender, and Culture among Brazilian Transgendered Prostitutes by Don Kulick, which interestingly gives details behind a ‘gender’ mostly unstudied: the travestis…
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"The Gender of the Travestis"

Download file to see previous pages Interesting a topic, Kulick undertakes to study the lives of the travestis and their general take on the question of gender identity. So to what gender do travestis belong to? Kulick, through a series of illustrations and interviews with volunteer travestis, gives comprehensive details about the travestis.
Surprising as it can be for a person changing his or her gender, to the travestis, it is a norm. Most people who hear of travestis the first time think of them as being abnormal. They are somewhat an in-between gender, completely lost from the normal life and perhaps they live in a world of their own, away from reality. Kulick candidly suggests: “We see reality like it is, they [travestis] don’t. They live in a world of fantasy.” (p.94). Kulick finds out that travestis are not generally accepted in their homes or families. Once they start on the journey to becoming travestis, often at the age of as low as ten, they are no longer wanted by their parents. Their spirit growing stronger, most aspiring travestis will choose to leave their families and go out on their own, and some are forcibly expelled (p.59). Kulick gives an example of Keila, a travesti who chose to leave their home at the age of thirteen (p.59) and went to live alone, this time too choosing a female name. This tells about the pains the travestis are determined to endure to be fully free, or else to belong to the ‘gender’ of their choice.
That is not the end: “Travestis consider that males are males and females are females because of the genitals they possess.” (p.193). This derives a strong conviction, on their part, that they should retain their genitals – it does not matter the genital one possesses and at least they respect God’s thus creation of genitals (p.193) – so the travestis never remove their penises. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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