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Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 October 2021

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Maybe we should think of it like this: trans women/men are to women/men as adoptive parents are to parents. There are disanalogies of course, and the morality of adoption is a large issue in itself which I can't do full justice to here. Still, the analogies are, I think, important and instructive.

Research Article
Copyright © The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of The Royal Institute of Philosophy

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1 By the way, I hope I don't seem to be erasing anyone in this essay. I'm writing here just from my own viewpoint as a trans woman. It looks to me like everything I say here from my own experience transfers straight over to the case of trans men, which is why the analogy is about ‘trans women/men’. Though I'll be interested to hear their perspectives, non-binary and gender-fluid people probably won't be covered by this analogy. Though of course they are covered by the general moral rule underlying everything I say here: that people's life-choices about how they want to be gendered are (like the life-choice to adopt) a deep and serious matter for them and so must be respected.

2 Parfit, Derek, Reasons and Persons (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1984), circa p. 262Google Scholar.