Dissertation

Gender variance on campus: a critical analysis of transgender voices

Transgender college students face discrimination, harassment, and oppression on college and university campuses; consequently leading to limited academic and social success. Current literature is focused on describing the experiences of trans gender students and the practical implications associated with attempting to meet their needs (Beemyn, 2005; Beemyn, Curtis, Davis, & Tubbs, 2005). This study examined the perceptions of trans gender inclusion, ways in which leadership structures or entities include/exclude trans gender students, and effects of inclusive/exclusive language on transgender students through student's own words and experiences. Consistent with methods to utilize critical theories, students participated in individual interviews regarding their experiences on campus and reviewed campus documents. Findings indicate that while participants of this study did experience some negative reactions on campus, by allowing them to tell their stories we are allowed glimpses into more important (and less talked about) facets oftheir lives including stereotypes of the transgender community, privileges of being transgender, and the need for individual identification. Critical theory, critical race theory, and feminist theory allowed for deeper analysis of knowledge and truth and the creation of critical trans gender theory. Critical trans gender theory encourages the questioning of the gender binary, the categorization of transgender people as "other," and the impact that challenging this categorization has on the transgender population.

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