This research investigates a neglected topic within both transgender studies and religious studies by analyzing ex-gay movement discourses of “transgenderism” from the 1970s to the present, focusing primarily on the US-American context. The oppression of transgender people in the US and globally is fed and fueled by the religious, scientific, and political discourses of the transnational “ex-gay” movement, which provides the ideological and material foundation of Christian Right politics. Using critical discourse analysis of ex-gay texts, we analyze the implications of these discourses in the individual, interactional, and institutional dimensions of society’s gender structure. This movement is one of the most insidious—and overlooked—sources of cisgenderism and transmisogyny today, constructing gender variance as sin, mental illness, and danger—with catastrophic consequences for transgender people, and those along the transfemale/feminine spectrum in particular. Finally, we discuss the public policy implications of these discourses.
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