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Detachable Penis

A Queer Legal Saga

By Sam Elkin
Subjects Social Science, Gender Studies, Biography & Autobiography
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Paperback : 9781771126656, 200 pages, May 2024
Ebook (EPUB) : 9781771126663, 200 pages, June 2024
Ebook (PDF) : 9781771126670, June 2024


In Detachable Penis: A Queer Legal Saga, Elkin relates his bumpy journey from lesbian to transgender lawyer in the aftermath of the 2017 Australian marriage equality postal survey, which resulted in an amendment to the Marriage Act to enable same-sex marriage.
As the inaugural lawyer of Victoria’s queer law service, Elkin is quickly immersed in thorny debates around trans inclusion in sport, children’s access to puberty blockers, birth certificate law reform, and the Christian right’s demand for enhanced religious freedoms. Set against the backdrop of a growing moral panic about the "trans agenda," Elkin reflects on the double-edged sword of visibility post the "transgender tipping point."
Elkin offers an honest, unflinching account of chest surgery, phalloplasty, the emotional impact of cross-sex hormones and the perils of airport body scanners. Refreshingly open-minded, Elkin explores his ambivalence about aspects of his own transition, masculinity, and fears of lesbian erasure as he encounters a new world of gender-affirming psychologists, surgeons, and speech pathologists.
Through an examination of Elkin’s legal casework and law reform efforts, Detachable Penis offers a kaleidoscopic view of LGBTIQA+ communities living on the margins and a nuanced account of the lateral violence, poor mental health, and activist burnout that besets the contemporary LGBTIQA+ rights movement. Part love letter and part cautionary tale, Detachable Penis offers a darkly humorous glimpse into Elkin’s unique life in the law.