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Gender Identity: Pending? Identity Development and Health Care Experiences of Transmasculine/Genderqueer Identified Individuals

  • Author(s): Schulz, Sarah L.
  • Advisor(s): Gambrill, Eileen
  • et al.

The purpose of this study was to explore the identity development process and health care experiences of individuals who identify their gender somewhere along the transmasculine spectrum. Using a qualitative grounded theory approach, data were collected through semi-structured interviews with 28 transmasculine identified individuals. Additionally, results from a pilot study with 15 genderqueer identified individuals supplemented these interview data. The interviews focused on the process of transmasculine identity development and experiences in seeking and receiving health care services across a variety of practice settings. Participants also shared how their interactions with individual health and mental health care providers, organizations, and the larger managed care system impacted (both positively and negatively) their experiences of gender identity development.

The results of this research also indicate that various components of health care provision may impact transmasculine identity development. Access to trans-friendly health care organizations and providers, an informed consent model of health care provision, trans-friendly organizational policies, insurance coverage for transgender health needs, and relationship-centered communication with health providers all lend themselves to a positive, affirming experience of identity.

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