My section would come after Emmanuelle’s study on Two-Spirit people in Canada. It deals with transgender/transsexual activism and linguistic imperialism. More precisely, it addresses the influence and impact, an imposed language can have on the recognition and representation of a certain group.
My case study focuses on Canadian transgender activists and their attempts to protect transexual/transgender people before the law. I will examine these political interventions in light of Canada’s linguistic specificity: Canada has two official languages, English and French – especially spoken in Québec-. To do so, I will rely on:
- The testimony of Canadian transexual artist, sex worker, and activist Mirha-Soleil Ross (who grew up in Montreal, Québec), in which she expresses her disillusion after having joined an English-speaking activist group: ‘now I see how circular, how narrow-minded, and how skewed anglo activism can be. I see how dangerously imperialistic it can be in terms of requiring that activism around the world adopt its analysis and political strategies’.
- Viviane Namaste’s Sex Change, Social Change: Reflection on Identity, Institutions and Imperialism (2005, 2011). In her work, the Canadian feminist scholar shows how the adding of “gender identity” to human rights codes, throughout the 21st century, has been made without taking into account Québec’s cultural and linguistic specificity. She then analyses the impact of such linguistic imperialism.