The “born this way” narrative remains a popular way to defend nonnormative genders and sexualities in the United States. While feminist and queer theorists have critiqued the narrative's implicit ahistorical and essentialist understanding of sexuality, the narrative's incorporation by the state as a way to police gender identity has gone largely underdeveloped. I argue that transgender accounts of this narrative reorient it amid questions of temporality, race, colonialism, and the nation-state, thereby allowing for a critique that does justice to the enmeshment of categories of difference.

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