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This chapter shows how by applying a more complex and accurate understanding of power, our attention is turned from winning legal recognition through civil rights reforms to understanding how the gender binary is enforced in administrative systems. The chapter focuses on three key administrative barriers to trans survival: access to ID, placement in sex-segregated facilities such as shelters and prisons, and access to health care. In each of these realms, binary gender categorization is rigidly enforced on everyone and endangers those whose lives and identities defy the rules and norms of that binary. The chapter argues that this administrative violence is the most widespread harm facing trans people, but is not addressed by a civil rights strategy. This generates a different way to think about the relationship between law reform and social movement demands for relief from conditions of subjection.

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