Sexual Intimacy, Gender Variance and the Criminal Law

APR 23, 2014 | 7:00 PM TO 9:00 PM



The Graduate Center
365 Fifth Avenue




April 23, 2014: 7:00 PM-9:00 PM





212-817-1955 or


 A Lecture by Alex Sharpe.

This presentation, which will begin with a brief film clip from the 1992 film The Crying Game, will challenge the notion that non-disclosure of gender history to sexual partners in advance of sexual intimacy is unethical. It will then challenge the legality and public policy interest in prosecuting transgender people on the basis of ‘fraud’ in these circumstances. In doing so, it will:

  • highlight inconsistency in judicial constructions of non-consent,
  • contest the view that a right to sexual autonomy necessarily trumps a right to privacy (this will involve both a balancing of harms and recognition of the fact that non-disclosure of gender history does not, ontologically speaking, constitute deception) and
  • highlight how an emphasis on complainant determination of the materiality of gender history promotes transphobia/homophobia.
Alex Sharpe (LLB, LLM, PhD, Barrister at Law) works at Keele University. Her research interests lie within the fields of social and legal theory, legal history, and gender, sexuality and the law. She has been writing about transgender/law issues for over twenty years. She is the author of Transgender Jurisprudence: Dysphoric Bodies of Law (Cavendish, 2002), Foucault’s Monsters and the Challenge of Law (Routledge, 2010), and over 50 other publications. Alex also serves on the International Legal Committee of WPATH (the World Professional Association of Transgender Health), a law reform body that makes third party interventions in litigation worldwide.