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Navigating gender diverse worlds assembled upon binary expectations: Investigating the experiences of trans people living in Britain

Lanfear, Lo Cathryn; (2021) Navigating gender diverse worlds assembled upon binary expectations: Investigating the experiences of trans people living in Britain. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London).

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Abstract

In many ways, trans individuals and communities in Britain are flourishing as they embody and expand gendered possibilities, raising the social visibility and legibility of gender diversity. Yet life in Britain remains predominantly assembled around sexgender expectations that hinder and harm those who do not, or cannot, conform to cis-heteronormativity. This is acutely manifest in the news and social media where, trans peoples’ identities, bodies, lives and intentions are routinely delegitimised, sensationalised and scrutinised within the ‘Trans Debate’. Following a trans studies ethos that responds to the historic and on-going devaluing and/or dismissal of trans peoples’ expertise within medicine and psychiatry, the media and academia, the knowledge and experiences of trans people are foregrounded in this research. Correspondingly, the methodology used integrates participatory photography and narrative writing, and in-depth semi-structured interviews. Collaborating with a group of 12 participants, this research investigates trans peoples’ experiences of negotiating spaces that are conditioned by cis- heteronormativity, as well as accessing, creating and sustaining spaces of belonging. All participants are trans adults living in Britain, and they vary by sexgender, and ethnicity, migration status and experiences, disability, and age, among other differences. This research demonstrates the necessity of understanding how transphobic and cis-heteronormative (mis)representations and ideals operate through socio-spatial relations. They shape, and often limit, trans peoples’ participation in public life, by intensifying anxieties, and demanding calculated and laborious practices in order to access certain spaces comfortably, or at all. The thesis investigates how spaces and imaginaries have been individually and collectively instrumentalised through the Trans Debate, in ways that give an impression of progress to stalled discourses with harmful repercussions. These findings build from and contribute to research across a range of disciplines and fields, creating intersections between urban studies, gender studies, queer studies, and trans studies. The insights it offers may positively inform a wide range of practices, including urban design and planning and journalism.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Navigating gender diverse worlds assembled upon binary expectations: Investigating the experiences of trans people living in Britain
Event: UCL
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2021. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > SELCS
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10135357
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