Practices for determining and classifying individuals’ genders and sexualities have long been part of the immigration process in the United States. Today, though laws focused on excluding gender and sexual minorities have been repealed, transgender people still face situations where they must prove their gender identities to courts or immigration officials. This talk will discuss one of those situations: claiming political asylum due to persecution on account of one’s gender identity. Although transgender people can now claim asylum based on their gender identities, I show that the gender classification process favors those with “ideal” gender development trajectories that do not always accurately fit immigrants’ identity development paths.
Stefan Vogler is a research scientist with NORC at the University of Chicago and author of Sorting Sexualities: Expertise and the Politics of Legal Classification. His research focuses on gender- and sexuality-related issues in law and the criminal legal system. Dr. Vogler’s work has appeared in outlets such as Law & Society Review, Theoretical Criminology, Law & Social Inquiry, and Gender & Society.