The organizer of a conference on transgender issues, which starts in Vancouver today, said the apparently unique struggles of the transgendered actually reflect broader social problems.
Transsomatechnics: Theories And Practices Of Transgender Embodiment — A Transdisciplinary International Conference, runs today until Saturday at SFU Vancouver’s Harbour Centre Campus.
Susan Stryker, conference director, said the goal of the conference is to try “to keep transgender issues from being ghettoized” and to “link transgender issues with broader kinds of social problems.”
“What a lot of presenters will be talking about is how transgender people face problems like employment discrimination or lack of access to affordable housing … things that affect more people than just transgender people,” Stryker said.
Issues surrounding body modification, access to health care and social services, and bureaucratic and administrative problems related to altering personal information with the government apply to many people.
“Transgender people, because of the way the state administers identity, might have more in common with migrants and diaspora communities,” she said.
Sessions at the conference also include discussions of sexuality and gender in First Nations communities, biomedical technology and body modification, and an overview of transgender history in Vancouver.