Dissertation

Transgender Community College Students' Perceptions of Campus Climate and Inclusiveness

Transgender students are underrepresented and underserved at community colleges. This study explored the lived experiences of transgender students and their perceptions of inclusiveness with regard to the campus climate. I conducted first and follow-up individual, semi-structured interviews with a total of eight transgender students from three community colleges, followed by a focus group with five of my interviewees. Findings indicated that a lack of inclusiveness of transgender students persists at community colleges, including exclusionary practices such as misgendering, lack of gender-inclusive facilities, and lack of recognition in course curriculum and campus services and events. in addition, transgender community college students face additional challenges such as lack of family support and the emotional labor of presentation of gender identity in various circumstances and the labor of educating others who are unfamiliar with the transgender community, all of which impede academic progress. Findings indicated that community colleges lack inclusive and supportive policies and practices for transgender students, and student participants shared recommendations for a more inclusive campus climate.

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