Dalhousie Law Journal


transgender, sexual assault, fraud, England, Israel, gender, men, women, privacy, Canada


If I don't tell you that I was assigned male at birth, as a transgender person, can I go to jail for sexual assault by fraud? In some jurisdictionslike England or Israel, the answer is: yes. Previous arguments against this criminalisation have focused on the realness of trans people's genders: since trans men are men and trans women are women, it is not misleading for them to present as they do. Highlighting the limitationsofthis position, which doesn't fully account for the messiness ofgendered experiences, the author puts forward an argument against the criminalisation of (trans)gender history non-disclosure rooted in privacy. Gender identity is a private matter and people should not be forced to figure it out or communicate it to others to have an intimate life. Mobilised in this context, privacy can be understood as a refusal of the state's authority to order our gendered lives. The author argues that this mobilisation is compatible with leftist critiques ofprivacy. Finally, the author considers whether (trans)gender history non-disclosure is a criminal offence in Canada and concludes that it is not.