Trans* Citizenship: Theories, Policies and Practices

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Despite many decades of trans* people’s struggle for recognition, their social and legal status have either been denied or misrecognized as full member citizens around the world. Trans* people’s needs are often undermined by laws, policies and practices defined by narrow understanding of gender, thereby limiting their ability to achieve full citizenship (Hines 2010; Hines et al. 2018; Davy 2018; Platero 2020; Linander et al. 2020; Aboim 2020).  

Many aspects of citizenship rights including the legal protection for family formation and parenthood (Hines 2006; Haines et. Al 2014; Honkasalo 2018; Takács 2018), protection against violence (Lombardi et al. 2001; Stotzer 2009; Jauk 2013; Kuhar et al. 2017) as well as access to employment (Mizock et al. 2014, 2017; Granberg et al. 2020) are not recognized in law and society. 

The notion of trans* citizenship has been developed to disrupt the traditional understanding of citizenship based on gender binary distinction, and further to criticize the universal application of citizenship rights arguing for diversity of citizenship (Monro 2003). Trans* citizenship is not bound to sexual and individual rights, nor it is limited to individual gendered subjectivity (Mornro 2000; Monro and Warren 2004; Monro and Van der Ros 2018). Trans* citizenship emphasises on gendered practices at individual, institutional and structural levels through an intersectional way that encompasses diversity of experiences among trans* people.  

Drawing on theoretical and empirical studies, this panel investigates trans* citizenship with regards to recognition of status and needs of trans* people in law and society. The institutionalised subordination of people is manifested through subordination of their status in society not just their individual identity (Fraser 2000). Instead of focusing on the politics of identity-based recognition or the politics of difference, in their approach to social justice, the papers in this panel focus on the recognition of the status and needs of trans*people at all levels of society. 


Zara Saeidzadeh has completed her doctoral degree in Gender Studies at Örebro University, Sweden. In her doctoral thesis, she examines the lives of trans* people in Iran from a socio-legal perspective. She now works as a senior lecturer in Gender Studies at Örebro University where she also conducts her research on violence against trans* people in the EU with Dr Sofia Strid. Zara has carried out a research project on Iranian Transgender Advocacy Network at Lund University Sweden (2017). She has also conducted fieldwork in Sweden through Trans*Rights project led by Dr Sofia Aboim and funded by European Research Council. 

Her recent publications are: 

  • Saeidzadeh, Z. (2019), Understanding Scio-Legal Complexities of Sex Change in Post-Revolutionary Iran, Transgender Studies Quarterly, 6 (1), 80-102. 

  • Saeidzadeh, Z. (2019). “Are trans men the manliest of men?” Gender practices, trans masculinity and mardānegī in contemporary Iran. Journal of Gender Studies, 29(3), 295-309. 

  • Saeidzadeh, Z., & Strid, S. (2020). Trans feminism: The Politics of Moving Beyond Impasses. Politics and governance, 8(3), 312-320. 

  • Saeidzadeh, Z. (2021).  Les Trans* en Iran: Jurisprudence Médicale et Pratiques Sociojuridique en Matier de Changement de Sexe. [Trans in Iran: Medical jurisprudence and socio-legal practices of sex change], (translated by Corinne Fortier) Droit et Cultures.80: 2020/2 

Published Sep. 21, 2021 10:14 AM - Last modified Sep. 21, 2021 2:59 PM