Identification documents are essential for the recognition of individuals within the nation-state. By denying trans people the right to change the M or the F on these documents, governments perpetuate perceptions of trans people as frauds and of trans bodies as fake. Examining both legal examples and ethnographic data, the article calls attention to the current attempts to formulate a national gender identity law in Guatemala. Doing so, we discuss trans visibility as contentious. Because of the need for social inclusion, including access to services, trans activist organizations work to make trans people visible within the nation-state. At the same time, changing the sex marker on their identification documents could make trans populations more vulnerable to surveillance. Therefore, trans activists seek to ensure that trans individuals' status and history as transgender is rendered invisible in these legal name and sex changes. The article argues that the apparent tension between visibility and invisibility, made evident in the process of drafting the gender identity law, can be understood only in the context of local trans discourses that aim to claim inclusion in normative gender categories through renegotiating the meaning of men and women.

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