*bolded terms refer to an authorized LCSH term*
If you read my last post about Transgenderism then you know that LCSH uses the term as an umbrella for a wide variety of gender non-conformant identities and behaviors. As I said last time, that term at one point was indeed used to indicate a broader set of identities and behaviors, but now is mostly used [by anti-trans activists] to refer specifically to people whose gender identity does not match that which they were assigned at birth — a much more narrow definition.
These conflations in LCSH however, have trickled down to another heading: Transgender people. The narrower terms assigned are:
Christian transgender people
Jewish transgender people
Libraries and transgender people
Social work with transgender people
[Emphasis mine] the highlighted terms above leap out to me as terribly incorrectly placed. [I’ll acknowledge here that the specific relationship between Transsexuals and Transgender people may be improperly constructed as well]
The ‘impersonator’ headings have variant terms of ‘Drag queens’ and ‘Drag kings’ respectively and have parallel scope notes of:
Here are entered works on men who impersonate women, generally for purposes of entertainment or comic effect. Works on women who impersonate men, generally for purposes of entertainment or comic effect, are entered under Male impersonators. Works on persons, especially males, who assume the dress and manner of the opposite sex for psychological gratification are entered under Transvestites.
[the sexes are swapped in the scope note for Male impersonators]
Here’s the problem:
Female/male impersonators cover a wide range of things from theatrical cross-sex performance to drag performers but neither type of performer is inherently a trans person. Certainly some trans people have performed drag professionally, but it is an emphatic error to place drag performers as NT under Transgender people.
Transvestites doesn’t belong here either. As the scope note indicates above, LCSH understands that it’s primarily a practice among straight men, for reasons other than entertainment or public performance. As with the impersonator headings, a variant term, ‘cross dressers’ is actually preferred by practitioners.
LCSH continuing to collapse varied forms of gender performance and expression under Transgender people does harm to trans people, especially trans women, and plays right into the hands of the politicians, their malicious laws, and anti-trans activists.
Recommendation: Delete the BT connecting Male impersonators and Female impersonators to Transgender people. Delete the BT connecting Transvestites to Transgender people and change the preferred term to Cross dressers. Future consideration is to make separate headings for Drag kings/queens as NTs of Male/Female impersonators.