ID Cards as Access: Negotiating Transgender (and Intersex) Bodies into the Chilean Legal System

  • Penny Miles


Mariana’s narrative presents just one example of the complexities of going about daily life as a transgender or intersex person in Chile contemporary. In a society where identity (ID) cards are central to accessing most services, from public health to the labor market, the incongruence between self-presentation and official identification serve to perpetuate the discriminatory practices directed toward transgender 2 and intersex individuals. This frequently results in the denial of access to basic rights. These are seen as part of a vicious circle. Not having a legal identity congruent with the person’s adopted gender essentially implies exclusion from education, employment, and health. Such a scenario has encouraged some to seek legal change to gender and name status as a means of ameliorating their inclusion in society. However, in order to do so, individuals need sufficient financial resources to undergo surgery and hormonization in a costly, privatized health service. Though gender identity is not currently regulated by law, a gap in the law has thus far been exploited in order to allow individuals to “re-sex” their transgender bodies. However, this has occurred predominantly in the cases of “the post-surgical body” (Sharpe, 2002, 3).


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© Angelia R. Wilson 2013

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  • Penny Miles

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