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Ghanaian youth and festive transvestism.

Geoffrion, Karine.
Cult Health Sex; 15 Suppl: 48-61, 2013.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-23181350
'Festive transvestism' is an increasingly visible cross-dressing practice performed by young people in the Southern parts of contemporary Ghana. Based on participant observation in four cross-dressing events, 15 individual interviews and a focus-group discussion, festive cross-dressing is understood as a contemporary ritual that mainly serves the purpose of reinforcing and reproducing gender binaries as well as heteronormativity in Ghanaian society. Nevertheless cross-dressing events also provide a subjective, creative and exploratory space--although temporary and circumscribed--for the transvestites as well as for the spectators to deconstruct sex, gender and sexuality through the performativity of transvestism. The opening of this exploratory space is made possible by the liminality of the social category of youth in Ghana, which grants young people, especially young men, more liberty and (gender) flexibility. Finally, the paper challenges the widely spread Western perception that feminine men and cross-dressers are necessarily homosexual by resituating the concept of homosexuality within the context of Ghanaian society, where it has recently started to occupy the public space.