This paper interprets and theorizes the discourses of authenticity being deployed by transgender kids and seeks to reconfigure their dominant terms for identities and ends that have largely been foreclosed. In articulating their experiences of identity and constraint, transgender children often rely on and produce discourses of authenticity, particularly by appealing to a “true self” differently gendered from the one they had been assigned at birth. I argue that discourses of authenticity might be reconfigured in order to apprehend experiences that are not conventionally regarded as authentic—such as uncertainty, futurity, and plurality. By encouraging the formation of a counter discourse at the adult level, we might alter the discursive conditions in which children navigate gender and disclose new possibilities for subjects struggling with who they are.


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pp. 599-628
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Open Access
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