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Critique Humanities Law/Legal Nonfiction Reference/Guide/Manual Theory

Documenting Gender

By Dean Spade, 2008

This Article uses the example of gender reclassification rules, an area of administrative governance in which the impacts of current trendstoward national standardization of local practices is significant, to look at this trend of standardization of ID policies and what it reveals about administrative governance. Gender reclassification policies are policies that govern the recognition of a change in a person’s gender by a state or federal administrative agency.10 This rule matrix, which includes hundreds of formal and informal policies at the federal, state, and local levels, is rarely discussed, and no scholarship thus far has attempted to lay out the complex set of policies side by side so that they can be examined as a group and analyzed with regard to their significance in understanding administrative governance. The policies and practices in this area are multiple and conflicting, creating seriously problematic binds for those directly affected and bureaucratic confusion for the agencies operating under these policies.

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