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Miquel Missé and transgender people

Miquel Missé Sánchez is a Spanish sociologist. Missé, who is transgender, has been published in anti-trans publication UnHerd.


Miquel Missé Sánchez was born in 1986 in Barcelona. Missé graduated from Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.

Missé has written several works about the intersection of gender and medicine:

  • El género desordenado: críticas en torno al patologización de la transexualidad (Egales: 2010)
  • Políticas trans. Una antología de textos desde los estudios trans norteamericanos (Egales: 2015)
  • Transexualidades, otras miradas posibles (Egales: 2013)
  • A la conquista del cuerpo equivocado (Egales: 2018)

The Myth of the Wrong Body

In 2018 Missé published The Myth of the Wrong Body (A la conquista del cuerpo equivocado). As philosopher Talia Mae Bettcher and author Janet Mock have explained, the “wrong body” metaphor has a number of versions:

  • born in the wrong body
  • trapped in the wrong body
  • soul of a [woman] in the body of a [man] (or vice versa)

Unfortunately, many cisgender people and some trans people take these metaphors literally. Critics will retort “no one is born in the wrong body.”

Most trans people reject all forms of the “wrong body” idea. That’s why this convenient and lazy description is mainly used by cisgender people, gender-diverse children, and low-information trans adults.

As I wrote in the academic journal Gender Medicine in 2006:

Gender identity and expression take on different meanings within different systems of thought. Because medical technologies are available to assist in the somatic expression of these identities, several medicalized disease models of the phenomena have developed. 

Both Missé and I are critical of these medicalized approaches to gender identity and expression. Being transgender is a trait, neither good nor bad. Disease models are a major historical source of our oppression.

The traditional focus on the so-called “triadic therapy” of hormones, genital surgery, and living “in role” has diminished in my lifetime. Trans and gender diverse people have many more choices for how to express themselves. Unfortunately, some people believe that medical transition will make them a new person or solve problems it can’t. As my therapist once said, “There’s never a happy ending to an unhappy journey.”

The reason anti-trans publication UnHerd excerpted Missé’s book was because they had just published “You can’t be born in the wrong body” by Ellen Pasternack. They felt that Missé backs this up. UnHerd also promotes the anti-transgender conspiracy theory that transgender healthcare is a money grab by Big Pharma and greedy surgeons who are luring people into expensive medical options.

Missé does have a point that under consumer capitalism, some medical professionals are guilty of profiting off trans insecurity. Unfortunately, many trans people are gender schematic, meaning they very much believe in a rigid gender binary and traditional gender roles. These are people most likely to believe medical interventions will make them happy. In many cases, they might. Missé is right to question these assumptions and criticize the unethical, inept, and predatory healthcare providers selling a bill of goods to anxious and insecure trans people.

If UnHerd editors grasped the more radical ideas underpinning what Missé is saying, they would almost certainly not have published this excerpt. You do not need hormones or surgery to claim your identity as a man, woman, or any other identity. Trans people existed long before those technologies were available, and we are the vanguard of humanity’s future possibilities.


Halberstram, Jack; Missé, Miquel (March 18, 2022). Jack Halberstam: «There are many different ways of being masculine, but do we know how to bring the structure that we call ‘masculinity’ down?» Idee No. 54: Rethinking Masculinity to Transform Society.

Missé, Miquel (June 1, 2022). The doctors profiting from trans surgery. UnHerd

Bettcher TM (2014). Trapped in the Wrong Theory: Rethinking Trans Oppression and Resistance. Signs Vol. 39, No. 2 (Winter 2014), pp. 383-406

Mock, Janet (2012). Unlearning the ‘Trapped’ Narrative & Taking Ownership of Our Bodies.


Miquel Missé (

Wikipedia (