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Gender identity has often been assumed to be a simple dichotomous mechanism where an individual is labeled as either a man or a woman. However, this simple mechanism has been shown to be more complex within the transgender population. The purpose of this project was to understand how transindividuals navigate masculine norms through their gender identity development. Nine transgender (2 transwomen, 3 transmen, 2 gender fluid, 1 nonbinary male-aligned, 1 nonbinary female-aligned) college students aged 18 to 28 (M = 20.89, SD = 3.33) were recruited for a one-hour life-story interview focused on their gender development. These interviews were then transcribed verbatim and qualitatively analyzed using thematic analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2006). The results revealed external and internalized restrictions to becoming trans, such as the restrictiveness of gender categories, transphobia, and lack of agency in gender expression, as well as various strategies participants utilized to overcome these restrictions, such as support systems, safe spaces, and cognitive remapping of gender categories. This work can provide clinicians, therapists, and other healthcare experts information on perceived impediments the transcommunity faces, as well as strategies they utilize to overcome these obstacles in their gender identity development.



Thesis Comittee

Dr. Joseph Schwab, Thesis Advisor

Dr. Theresa Jackson, Committee Member

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Original document was submitted as an Honors Program requirement. Copyright is held by the author.

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