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Living your truth: views and experiences of transgender young people in secondary education

Living your truth: views and experiences of transgender young people in secondary education
Living your truth: views and experiences of transgender young people in secondary education
Aim: with the visibility of transgender individuals increasing, together with the awareness of associated challenges, it is important that research looks to understand the experiences of this population. This study explores the views and experiences of transgender pupils attending secondary school, with a focus on the factors participants report to support or hinder overall positive school experiences.

Method: semi-structured interviews were conducted with ten transgender participants aged 11-16 years and data was analysed using reflexive thematic analysis.

Findings: the overarching theme 'acceptance and validation' was developed as the central thread to all participants’ views and experiences. Five main themes were also created: seeking acceptance and validation; receiving acceptance and validation; active rejection and invalidation; passive rejection and invalidation; and consequences of rejection and invalidation.

Limitations: the sample includes a low representation of lower secondary school aged youth and trans females, and participants who were receiving charitable support.

Conclusions: participants appeared willing to risk what belonging they have experienced trying to ‘fit in’ and conform to cisnormative expectations, taking the journey to embody their authentic selves in the hope of finding genuine belonging in a typically cisnormative world. It is important that youth across the gender spectrum find belonging in truly inclusive school environments; implications for policy makers, schools, and educational psychologists are discussed.
transgender, belonging, acceptance, school policy, school experience
0267-1611
McGowan, Annie
4b63f779-d54a-433f-a8cb-ad1d450d67ee
Wright, Sarah
0112d62f-dc04-4919-8bb4-5bd9ec2f825f
Sargeant, Cora
b2235859-1454-4d8b-8098-a539eea3a1ca
McGowan, Annie
4b63f779-d54a-433f-a8cb-ad1d450d67ee
Wright, Sarah
0112d62f-dc04-4919-8bb4-5bd9ec2f825f
Sargeant, Cora
b2235859-1454-4d8b-8098-a539eea3a1ca

McGowan, Annie, Wright, Sarah and Sargeant, Cora (2022) Living your truth: views and experiences of transgender young people in secondary education. Educational and Child Psychology, 39 (1).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Aim: with the visibility of transgender individuals increasing, together with the awareness of associated challenges, it is important that research looks to understand the experiences of this population. This study explores the views and experiences of transgender pupils attending secondary school, with a focus on the factors participants report to support or hinder overall positive school experiences.

Method: semi-structured interviews were conducted with ten transgender participants aged 11-16 years and data was analysed using reflexive thematic analysis.

Findings: the overarching theme 'acceptance and validation' was developed as the central thread to all participants’ views and experiences. Five main themes were also created: seeking acceptance and validation; receiving acceptance and validation; active rejection and invalidation; passive rejection and invalidation; and consequences of rejection and invalidation.

Limitations: the sample includes a low representation of lower secondary school aged youth and trans females, and participants who were receiving charitable support.

Conclusions: participants appeared willing to risk what belonging they have experienced trying to ‘fit in’ and conform to cisnormative expectations, taking the journey to embody their authentic selves in the hope of finding genuine belonging in a typically cisnormative world. It is important that youth across the gender spectrum find belonging in truly inclusive school environments; implications for policy makers, schools, and educational psychologists are discussed.

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McGowan et al + CA edits 021221 - Accepted Manuscript
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More information

e-pub ahead of print date: 1 March 2022
Keywords: transgender, belonging, acceptance, school policy, school experience

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 457366
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/457366
ISSN: 0267-1611
PURE UUID: da1c7a48-2012-4313-a95b-8eb563169621

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 06 Jun 2022 16:33
Last modified: 06 Jun 2022 16:33

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Contributors

Author: Annie McGowan
Author: Sarah Wright
Author: Cora Sargeant

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