By Dr Michael Toze (Senior Lecturer in Public Health and Social Determinants of Health, Medical School, College of Health and Science)
Gender diverse people existed well before modern medicine. One relatively well documented example is Erauso, who escaped from a convent in Spain somewhere around the year 1600 and spend much of the next fifty or so years living as a man, eventually receiving permission from the Pope to go on wearing male clothes even after his birth sex became known. It is difficult, and arguable entirely anachronistic, to determine how Erauso would have lived and what he would have called himself had he lived now, and this raises questions about how we narrate his story. It is also important to note that Erauso’s story is inextricably located in a context of class, race and colonialism. Nonetheless, it seems clear that in his own time and place, Erauso sought to live his life as a man. Velasco (2001) explores how Erauso’s life story has been reshaped over the centuries in line with the fears and desires of others.
Catalina de Erauso (San Sebastián, España, 1592 – Cuitlaxtla, México, 1650), llamada “La Monja Alférez”, fue una monja y soldado española.Continue reading “Trans identities and medicalisation: A complex relationship.”