This chapter explores the intersections of law, identity and discrimination. The author draws from a larger, four-year empirical project—documenting trans narratives of equality in Scotland, Canada and the United States. The focus of this contribution is those responses from participants in the first of these jurisdictions. Through the lens of legal consciousness, and using a “femiqueer” perspective, the author considers the ways in which trans people in Scotland talk about their everyday experiences of discrimination. The chapter presents original findings that increase our understanding of the lives of trans people in that part of the United Kingdom and contributes to socio-legal theoretical literature by suggesting a new strand of “legal consciousness”. It adds to our knowledge of how trans people themselves see the role and relevance of law in their lives: by examining both practical and conceptual understandings and experiences of equality; by contributing to the legal consciousness literature in introducing the new concept of “optimistic legal realism”; and by analysing recent shifts in discourse on equality and trans rights in Scotland. The chapter also highlights how people negotiate being “inside” and “outside” the trans and cisgender communities around them. In light of the particular attention currently being given in the UK to whether gender identity and expression should be regulated, and the policing of gendered spaces, this chapter argues that we must pay attention to trans people’s narratives; their intersectional experiences of equality and life generally in Scotland—and elsewhere—require nuanced and sensitive consideration.
|Title of host publication||The Queer Outside in Law |
|Subtitle of host publication||Recognising LGBTIQ People in the United Kingdom|
|Editors||Senthorun Raj, Peter Dunne|
|Place of Publication||Bristol|
|Number of pages||46|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Dec 2020|
|Name||Palgrave Socio-Legal Studies|