Skip to Main Content
Skip Nav Destination

This chapter shows how cross-dressing law increased the visibility of cross-dressing practices under the sign of criminality. The law consisted of a legal text that formally prohibited public cross-dressing practices and a set of legal and cultural procedures that brought them into view. Everyday law enforcement mobilized intimate forms of surveillance and spectatorship, as multiple actors looked for and looked at cross-dressing criminals in police photographs, court sketches, and newspaper crime reports. Visibility was partial, however, as newspaper reports focused on white cross-dressing criminals only and looked past similar offenses by Chinese and Mexican men and women. These representations played a crucial role in the operations of cross-dressing law, linking the politics of gender normativity to whiteness and framing cross-dressing offenders as criminal nuisances and queer freaks.

This content is only available as PDF.
You do not currently have access to this chapter.
Don't already have an account? Register
Close Modal

or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal