More Than Just ‘Either Or’: Transgender Students’ Experiences with Gay-Straight Alliances in British Columbia

Date created: 
2016-04-13
Identifier: 
etd9550
Keywords: 
Transgender
Transphobia
Homophobia
Gay-straight alliance
High schools
Social exclusion
Qualitative research
Abstract: 

Gay-straight alliances (GSA) in high schools are meant to counteract homophobia and transphobia and provide LGBTQ youth with a safe environment to express their sexual or gender orientation. Limited attention, however, has been given to transgender youth and their experiences in a GSA. To address this deficiency, a qualitative interview approach with 11 participants was used. Through inductive analysis, four major themes emerged: (1) need for safe spaces; (2) developing a GSA; (3) aspects of a safe space; and (4) membership and transgenderism in GSAs. Although findings support the notion that there is a need for LGBTQ safe spaces in high schools, transgender participants expressed feelings of exclusion and marginalization in these clubs. Therefore, using transgender theory and a peacemaking criminological approach, recommendations for fostering inclusive environments, with a specific emphasis on transgender individuals, are presented and discussed.

Document type: 
Thesis
Rights: 
This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes. Copyright remains with the author.
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Brian Burtch
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School of Criminology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.
Statistics: