Skip to content Skip to navigation


Blog entry

This installment concludes the legal document, with a verdict that is surprising in some ways and that opens as many questions as it answers. The theme throughout this whole series has been to recognize how very different historic attitudes toward non-normative gender and sexuality could  be from what we might imagine. The primary sources for history sometimes have a way of upending our expectations  in that way.

Lesbian Historic Motif Podcast - Episode 243 - On the Shelf for November 2022 - Transcript

(Originally aired 2022/11/05 - listen here)

Welcome to On the Shelf for November 2022.

In his summing up, the lawyer switches tactics somewhat, bringing a new argument: that the acceptance, validation, and certification of Grandjean as a man by the church and state authorities in Grenoble absolves Grandjean of guilt when they act in that capacity. This may have been a strategic add-on by the lawyer, fearful that the judge might not be sympathetic to an argument based on the problem of categorizing intersex persons. But there is also a ring of truth to it.

Lesbian Historic Motif Podcast - Episode Episode 242 - The Wolf that Sings on the Mountain by Miyuki Jane Pinckard - transcript

(Originally aired 2022/10/29 - listen here)

Today's argumentation comes to the heart, not only of the lawyer's argument, but of the difficulty in determining the emotional and conceptual facts of Grandjean's experience. We cannot entirely trust the details of the lawyer's "facts" precisely because one particular version of the facts is essential for the successful argumentation of the case. And even in the structure of his presentation--whether he intended to be ambiguous or not--we can see the logical holes, given our context of being able to envision a greater range of possible identities.

This is the true heart of the lawyer's case: that Grandjean genuinely believed--on whatever basis--that they were able and authorized to take on the role of husband in a marriage. Although the lawyer brings in anatomy as part of the basis for that  belief, it isn't in fact necessary for the argument to prevail. This is where the specific charge (profanation of the sacrament of marriage) is key to Grandjean's acquittal, because it's the only one that can be refuted.

Another day of posting in haste, so no detailed introduction. Now that my mornings occasionally include a communte once more, my morning writing time is curtailed. Posting this only by virtue of the miracle of phone-tethering!

Posting a bit in haste, as I need to run a meeting in a couple minutes. This section of the appeal record is most useful for understanding the lawyer's depth of familiarity with the literature. Which makes it all the more noteworthy when he carefully omits details that would undermine his arguments, as we'll see in the next installment.

I usually try to get these posted in the morning before I start work, to get the best social media exposure. But last evening I worked late, so this morning I slept in (i.e., until half an hour before walking into my home office) and tomorrow I commute to work "on site," which I"ll be doing at least one day a week going forward. SO to meet my target schedule, here I am posting in the evening.

This is a relatively short installment because I want to put each of the lawyer's points into it's own installment.


Subscribe to LHMP