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“A trans man is just a lesbian with bells on”: the intersection of gender identity and sexuality from the perspective of people who have explored both

Richardson, Lucy R (2019) “A trans man is just a lesbian with bells on”: the intersection of gender identity and sexuality from the perspective of people who have explored both. Other thesis, University of Essex.

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Abstract

Aims: To explore the subjective experience of developing a gender identity, a sexual identity and the intersection of the two, from the perspective of people who identify as LGBT+ and have questioned/explored both. Methodology: A qualitative methodology with a constructivist-interpretivist paradigm was employed. A community sample of 12 participants who self-identified as LGBT+ and having explored both gender identity and sexuality in childhood/adolescence were recruited. In-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted and analysed using Thematic Analysis. Results: Three themes and 11 subthemes were drawn out. The development of sexual identity was as an evolving process, which continued into adulthood and at times involved separating aspects of sexuality and overcoming internalised homophobia. Developing a gender identity was individualised and revolved around finding the aspects of gender that were acceptable to participants and rejecting those that were not. There were a number of intersections between gender identity and sexuality. It could be difficult to clearly pinpoint where one began and the other ended, meaning they can be confused and/or conflated. There also appeared to be a mutualism between these two parts of identity; as one developed for participants, so did the other. Conclusions: Gender identity and sexuality are two fundamental parts of identity which at times intersect and overlap. Consideration should be given to those who have the challenge of attempting to develop both, outside of perceived societal ‘norms’, with a move away from out-dated assumptions and labels. Implications are discussed in terms of therapeutic work for individuals seeking support in their identity development and the leadership role psychologists can take.

Item Type: Thesis (Other)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Health and Social Care, School of
Depositing User: Lucy Richardson
Date Deposited: 16 Aug 2019 08:18
Last Modified: 16 Aug 2019 08:18
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/25169

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