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Non-Binary Gender Identity Negotiations: Interactions with Queer Communities and Medical Practice

Vincent, Benjamin William (2016) Non-Binary Gender Identity Negotiations: Interactions with Queer Communities and Medical Practice. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Over the last decade, studies of trans people have somewhat shifted away from essentialising and pathologising narratives, whilst recognition of gender plurality has grown. However to date, gender identities outside of the binary of male/female have received little specific sociological attention. This thesis considers negotiation of non-binary gender identities, in a UK context. Examining how non-binary individuals are involved with and integrated into LGBTQ communities exposes important nuances. This is also true regarding the negotiation of medical practice by non-binary people in relation to gender transitions, and more generally. Eighteen participants with non-binary gender identities were recruited to record ‘mixed media diaries’ for a four month period. These diaries allowed participants to use any methods they wished to express themselves. Follow-up semi-structured interviews were then conducted with the same participants in order to discuss their experiences and views, relating to broad conceptions of queer communities and medical practice. The objectives were to understand how non-binary people are integrated into queer communities and negotiate medical practice, as well as what the emergence of non-binary gender identities implies for these contexts. Symbolic interactionism provided the project’s theoretical framework, as this effectively allowed space for a multiplicity of participant interpretations resulting from interactions with the social world. The findings of this study illustrate both commonalities and difference between binary and non-binary trans experiences. Non-binary identities can present in static or fluidic forms, which may be associated with differential needs. Access to gender affirming medical services is varied, and not always pursued. Non-binary identities may be associated with discourses and practices of reduced legitimisation in both medical contexts and some queer communities. The study concludes that the improvement of a wide range of medical policies and practice is needed, together with community support initiatives to better recognise and serve non-binary people.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Transgender, Non-binary, Gender, Identity, Community, Medicine, Healthcare
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law (Leeds) > School of Sociology and Social Policy (Leeds)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.701721
Depositing User: Benjamin W Vincent
Date Deposited: 23 Jan 2017 13:37
Last Modified: 25 Jul 2018 09:53
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/15956

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