High school experiences of transgender and gender non-conforming young adults: A reflective photovoice study

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Southern New Hampshire University
Increasing numbers of high school students are identifying openly as transgender and gender nonconforming even as they navigate violence, discrimination, and harassment from peers and others. Many of the scholarly work on trans issues in education have positioned transgender and gender nonconforming students within the larger grouping of LGBTQ individuals. The purposes of this study are to (a) to clarify and document the needs and reflective experiences of transgender and gender nonconforming youth; (b) to determine the extent to which school policies at the federal, state, and local levels are meeting those needs; and (c) to utilize input from participants in support of school, community, and policy changes. I utilized the qualitative research methodology of photovoice and aspects of phenomenology, allowing participants to tell their high school stories through photography and personal reflection. By highlighting the lived experiences and related issues facing our transgender and gender non-conforming youth, my purpose was to highlight the need for a change in policies related to transgender students in our schools. (Author abstract)