The paper argues that the legal turns on the recognition of transgender rights can be explained as variations within the legal liberalism and paternalism framework: initially as damage (i.e. must be prohibited), then as beneficence (i.e. must be provided and required), lastly as a space of self-realization authorized by the State. Additionally, it calls attention to the fact that the shifts between frameworks occurred within heteronormative paradigm. Finally, it points out the limitations of not challenging heteronormativity and disregarding the contributions that feminist theory and gender studies can bring to this case.