Beyond Trans: Does Gender Matter?

Front Cover
NYU Press, Jun 2, 2017 - Political Science - 184 pages

Goes beyond transgender to question the need for gender classification

Beyond Trans pushes the conversation on gender identity to its limits: questioning the need for gender categories in the first place. Whether on birth certificates or college admissions applications or on bathroom doors, why do we need to mark people and places with sex categories? Do they serve a real purpose or are these places and forms just mechanisms of exclusion? Heath Fogg Davis offers an impassioned call to rethink the usefulness of dividing the world into not just Male and Female categories but even additional categories of Transgender and gender fluid. Davis, himself a transgender man, explores the underlying gender-enforcing policies and customs in American life that have led to transgender bathroom bills, college admissions controversies, and more, arguing that it is necessary for our society to take real steps to challenge the assumption that gender matters.

He examines four areas where we need to re-think our sex-classification systems: sex-marked identity documents such as birth certificates, driver’s licenses and passports; sex-segregated public restrooms; single-sex colleges; and sex-segregated sports. Speaking from his own experience and drawing upon major cases of sex discrimination in the news and in the courts, Davis presents a persuasive case for challenging how individuals are classified according to sex and offers concrete recommendations for alleviating sex identity discrimination and sex-based disadvantage.

For anyone in search of pragmatic ways to make our world more inclusive, Davis’ recommendations provide much-needed practical guidance about how to work through this complex issue. A provocative call to action, Beyond Trans pushes us to think how we can work to make America truly inclusive of all people.


What people are saying - Write a review

Beyond Trans: Does Gender Matter?

User Review  - Publishers Weekly

Davis (The Ethics of Transracial Adoption), a professor of political science at Temple University in Philadelphia, challenges readers to consider why binary sex identity categories are used so ... Read full review


Sex Stickers
SexSegregated Restrooms
SexSegregated Sports
for Organizations

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2017)

Heath Fogg Davis is Director of Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies at Temple University in Philadelphia. He is the author of The Ethics of Transracial Adoption.

Bibliographic information