The article examines the criteria for determining which individuals become legible as transgender in Poland and how expert medical and legal discourses normalize the gender identity, sexuality, and gender performativity of this group. Only those transgender people who fit the outdated model of the “true transsexual” are allowed to (in fact expected to) undergo a physical transition. Once transitioned, they are expected to blend into society and present heteronormative, socially conforming gender roles. In Poland, only those people who have been diagnosed as so-called true transsexuals are counted in the estimated number of transgender people. After describing the convoluted legal and medical processes that individuals are required to follow, the article presents qualitative research describing how transgender people in Poland have responded to these normalizing systems. The article concludes with proposals that would make trans populations more legible to policy makers and the mass media without imposing outdated medical norms on the trans community.

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