Patricio SimonettoJan 15, 2024
A Body of One's Own
A Trans History of Argentina
University of Texas Press 2023
As a trans history of Argentina, a country that banned medically assisted gender affirmation practices and punished trans lives, A Body of One’s Own: A Trans History of Argentina (University of Texas Press, 2024) places the histories of trans bodies at the core of modern Argentinian history. Dr. Patricio Simonetto documents the lives of people who crossed the boundaries of gender from the early twentieth century to the present. Based on extensive archival research in public and community-based archives, this book explores the mainstream medical and media portrayals of trans or travesti people, the state policing of gender embodiment, the experiences of those transgressing the boundaries of gender, and the development of homemade technologies from prosthetics to the self-injection of silicone.
A Body of One's Own explores how trans activists' challenges to the exclusionary effects of Argentina’s legal, cultural, social, and political cisgender order led to the passage of the Gender Identity Law in 2012. Analyzing the decisive yet overlooked impact of gender transformation in the formation of the nation-state, gender-belonging, and citizenship, this book ultimately shows that supposedly abstract struggles to define the shifting notions of "sex," citizenship, and nationhood are embodied material experiences.
This interview was conducted by Dr. Miranda Melcher whose forthcoming book focuses on post-conflict military integration, understanding treaty negotiation and implementation in civil war contexts, with qualitative analysis of the Angolan and Mozambican civil wars.