Reproductive healthcare is choreographically delivered—an intricate collection of seemingly disparate but deftly balanced elements all come together in a complex dance. It is choreographed in ways that presume that the person accessing it—the dancer-patient—will be, among other things, cisgender. As a result, trans people are altogether erased, systematically unanticipated, insufficiently accommodated, or understood only in relation to hegemonic, regulatory frameworks. Trans People and the Choreography of Reproductive Healthcare: Dancing Outside the Lines draws on data from a research study involving qualitative interviews and participatory photography with fourteen trans people from British Columbia, Canada. It uses dance as a metaphor to expose facets of the restrictive choreography of reproductive healthcare, and to document the improvisational tactics used by trans people in their pursuit of care that is competent, safe, and affirming.
A.J. Lowik is postdoctoral research fellow at the Centre for Gender and Sexual Health Equity, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia.
List of Figures
List of Tables
Chapter 1 – Theoretical Orientation
Chapter 2 – Who I Am and Why It Matters
Chapter 3 – The Participants and the Process
Chapter 4 – Findings: Navigating Informational Erasure
Chapter 5 – Findings: Navigating Institutional Erasure
Chapter 6 – Findings: Navigating Repronormativities and Transnormativities
Chapter 7 – Findings: Navigating Identity Disclosure and Concealment
Appendix A: Recruitment and Limitations
Appendix B: On Participatory Photography
About the Author
Dance and choreography are more than metaphors in A.J. Lowik’s fetching blend of social science and cultural studies. Those terms offer analytically apt descriptions of how reproductive healthcare provisions for trans people seeks to script the movements of providers and recipients alike in certain ways, while the individual participants find ways to move creatively within these structural constraints. In the end, Lowik calls upon us all to imagine new ways of moving together in ways that better serve our lives.
This thought-provoking and meticulously researched work sheds light on the struggles and challenges faced by transgender individuals in accessing basic health care, particularly safe, quality reproductive healthcare. With increasing visibility for this subject matter in recent years, A.J. Lowik offers invaluable insights that emphasize the urgent need for inclusive and affirming practices in the system. As a man who has a first-hand perspective on the intricate dance of reproduction and giving birth, I wholeheartedly recommend this eye-opening and essential read to academics, policymakers, and healthcare professionals seeking to advance understanding and equality in health services. This book holds particular significance for healthcare professionals as it allows them to see beyond surface-level assumptions, encouraging them to become proactive advocates for positive change and to be properly prepared to address the unique reproductive needs of trans people.