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

Resource type
Thesis type
(Thesis) M.A.
Date created
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.
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Copyright is held by the author.
This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes.
Scholarly level
Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: Burtch, Brian
Member of collection
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etd9550_DSutherland.pdf 1.3 MB

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