Transformative Support: A Grounded Theory Examination into the Interpersonal and Familial Dynamics for People who are Transgender
AuthorSuskind, Naomi Ilona
AdvisorHylton, Mary E.
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This study is the culmination of a research process which began with a M.S.W. research study, Coming out as Transgender, conducted in the academic year of 2006 - 2007 at the University of Nevada, Reno. In that study, six transgender participants were interviewed about their coming out experiences. Results from that initial research included implications for further study, and have been pursued in a continuing study Transformative Identity. Using a grounded theory approach to research analysis the study has grown and evolved over a three year span. Out of rigorous investigation and curious examination, this particular study, Transformative Support, has branched out into a unique area of specific inquiry where the interpersonal and familial systems of support for transgender people are explored. Though it is a tangential continuation of a larger study Transformative Support focuses mainly on the inquiry conducted in tandem by one researcher and four participants. Four male-to-female transsexual participants were interviewed regarding the types of familial support, or lack thereof, they have experienced throughout their gender identity process, and how their gender identity affects their familial relationships. Three types of support were identified: marginal, superficial, and actual, as well as a continuum of support denoting how these types of support change over time. The study ends with implications for continuing and future research, theory, practice, policy, and advocacy.