Ido Katri

Study program:
Current affiliation:
University of Toronto

Ido Katri (law, University of Toronto) is proposing an approach to promoting gender self-determination that accounts for the diversity of transgendered people’s unique challenges and values their lived experiences of the law.

Doctoral research

Troubling Gender Self-Determination: A Legal Ethnography of Trans* Legal Struggles

While the fight for trans* inclusion is gaining momentum, the realities of many trans* people continue to be precarious. Trans* people are disproportionally criminalized, poor, and undereducated because of systemic discrimination.

Ido’s research values the rich survival knowledge encrypted in marginalized people’s lives and recognizes that the legal discourse is limited because it is missing the voices of gender-variant people themselves. Aspiring to building a sustainable strategy for change, this project will therefore undertake a legal ethnography of trans* legal changes, connecting the unheard voices of trans* realties to the legal texts about them.

By tracing the lines between such seemingly unrelated issues as solitary confinement, identification documents, and medical technologies, an effective critical legal analysis would challenge accepted norms and standards. Accordingly, this research will map the road of trans* legal struggles in an attempt to address a major paradox of trans* advocacy: the question of whether the law can protect the right to gender self-determination while accounting for gender’s intersectional coercive power.

Ido Katri is a doctoral candidate at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law. His doctoral thesis, supervised by Brenda Cossman, is a legal ethnographic project aimed at examining the current rise of trans* political and legal demands. Attuning to the voices of marginalized gender-variant people fighting assemblages of exclusion, it brings together legal discourses of gender, race, and nationality.

Ido has been a trans* community advocate and legal scholar for the past ten years. Recognizing the pressing legal challenges faced by trans* people and their lack of access to resources and opportunities, Ido chose to pursue a degree in law at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Even before finishing his studies, he became the go-to person for many community members. In 2010, Ido co-founded the first transgender association in Israel, Transgenders for Social Justice (RA), dedicated to promoting transgender rights through social justice work. In 2011, Ido co-founded the Gila Project for Trans Empowerment. This project mobilizes community resources to provide individual legal and social assistance while advocating for broader institutional change.

Concurrently, Ido also worked outside the trans* community addressing other foundational injustices, first as a clerk at the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, and later as a human rights litigant at the Gisha Center for Freedom of Movement, a nongovernmental organization located in Tel Aviv that is devoted to securing freedom of movement for residents of Gaza strip.

Throughout this diverse practical experience, Ido has been continuously engaged in producing legal scholarship. His LLM thesis, “In-Between Categories of Law,” was awarded the 2015 Marks Medal for best graduate thesis from the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law. Ido also co-organized the trans temporality conference at the Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity, which brought together activist and scholars. He is currently co-editing a special issue on the same topic. Ido has presented to audiences at local and international conferences, to policymakers, and to diverse communities. His work has been cited by courts, adopted by governmental agencies, taught in law schools and universities, and published in law journals, legal literature, and in queer scholarship. More publications are forthcoming.