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Before transsexuality: transgender lives and practices in nineteenth-century America

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TitleInfo
Title
Before transsexuality: transgender lives and practices in nineteenth-century America
Name (type = personal)
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Bayker
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Jesse
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1982-
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Jesse Bayker
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author
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Schoen
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Johanna
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Johanna Schoen
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Advisory Committee
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chair
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DeVun
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Leah
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Leah DeVun
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Advisory Committee
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internal member
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Fabian
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Ann
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Ann Fabian
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Advisory Committee
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internal member
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Canaday
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Margot
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Margot Canaday
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Advisory Committee
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outside member
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Rutgers University
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degree grantor
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School of Graduate Studies
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school
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theses
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2019
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2019-05
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2019
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English
Abstract (type = abstract)
“Before Transsexuality” examines transgender lives in the U.S. in the period before the advent of medical technologies for hormonal and surgical sex reassignment. Spanning the antebellum era to the turn of the twentieth century, this dissertation explores how individuals changed their gender socially without changing their bodies and contends that the experience of reinventing one’s gender was not altogether uncommon in the nineteenth century. In order to analyze the strategies that ordinary people employed to cross gender borders, this project brings together a fragmented archive of clandestine transgender practices, tracing transgender lives through local and national press, police and court records, penitentiary records, city directories, personal correspondence, and autobiographies. Geographic mobility was key to success for many, and individuals often migrated in order to adopt a new name and reinvent their gender. This dissertation lays out the practical tools and material culture necessary for changing one’s gender presentation, the assistance rendered by friends and associates, the economic constraints and opportunities of gender crossing, and the role of passion and intimacy in gender crossing narratives. Moreover, “Before Transsexuality” attends to the role of law enforcement and state surveillance in policing the border between male and female through vagrancy codes and laws prohibiting public disguise. It demonstrates how individuals resisted criminalization and began articulating a legal defense of their transgender lives as early as the 1850s. This project contributes a new understanding of the lived experience of crossing gender borders and brings transgender voices into focus. By emphasizing the historical specificity of nineteenth-century transgender narratives, “Before Transsexuality” expands our understanding of the range and diversity of transgender experience.
Subject (authority = local)
Topic
U.S. history
Subject (authority = RUETD)
Topic
History
Subject (authority = LCSH)
Topic
Transgender people -- United States -- 19th century -- History
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Rutgers University Electronic Theses and Dissertations
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ETD_9808
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1 online resource (viii, 323 pages) : illustrations
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Ph.D.
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Includes bibliographical references
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School of Graduate Studies Electronic Theses and Dissertations
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rucore10001600001
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Identifier (type = doi)
doi:10.7282/t3-w1gd-3g28
Genre (authority = ExL-Esploro)
ETD doctoral
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Rights

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The author owns the copyright to this work.
RightsHolder (type = personal)
Name
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Bayker
GivenName
Jesse
Role
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Type
Permission or license
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2019-04-11 17:31:58
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Jesse Bayker
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Affiliation
Rutgers University. School of Graduate Studies
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Author Agreement License
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I hereby grant to the Rutgers University Libraries and to my school the non-exclusive right to archive, reproduce and distribute my thesis or dissertation, in whole or in part, and/or my abstract, in whole or in part, in and from an electronic format, subject to the release date subsequently stipulated in this submittal form and approved by my school. I represent and stipulate that the thesis or dissertation and its abstract are my original work, that they do not infringe or violate any rights of others, and that I make these grants as the sole owner of the rights to my thesis or dissertation and its abstract. I represent that I have obtained written permissions, when necessary, from the owner(s) of each third party copyrighted matter to be included in my thesis or dissertation and will supply copies of such upon request by my school. I acknowledge that RU ETD and my school will not distribute my thesis or dissertation or its abstract if, in their reasonable judgment, they believe all such rights have not been secured. I acknowledge that I retain ownership rights to the copyright of my work. I also retain the right to use all or part of this thesis or dissertation in future works, such as articles or books.
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Embargo
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2021-03-09
DateTime (encoding = w3cdtf); (point = end); (qualifier = exact)
2022-05-31
Detail
Access to this PDF has been restricted at the author's request. It will be publicly available after May 31st, 2022.
Copyright
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Copyright protected
Availability
Status
Open
Reason
Permission or license
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