All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Mary Ann Bodine Al-Sharif

Advisory Committee Members

Andrew McKnight

Josh Carter

Jenna Lachenaye

Mieke B Thomeer McBride

Document Type

Dissertation

Date of Award

2021

Degree Name by School

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) School of Education

Abstract

Despite evidence showing the resilience and success of many Transgender students in higher education and the increasing prevalence of supportive campus policies, this is an emergent population with growing, varying, and diverse needs that are often not met by institutions and practitioners. The Southeast is a unique place for the LGBTQ+ community that has been understudied, and although the experiences of Trans students and how cisgenderism impacts them has been captured more broadly, this study is focused on the experiences of Trans students at urban institutions in the Southeast. Using Critical Discourse Analysis as a methodology and Critical Trans Politics as a theoretical framework, I critically examined how, if at all, students talked about their experiences of cisgenderism at three different campuses in connection to region and location. While the data collected were complex and nuanced, the prevailing findings were that these students felt they experienced more cisgenderism because of their location in the South but felt that being in an urban center mitigated the negative experiences they could have had if they were in more rural locations. Participants also provided crucial information about their experiences as Trans students connected to campus climate in the South, ii relationships with staff and faculty, and experiences with anti-trans legislation in the region. Notable themes included identity as a Southerner, administrative violence and support on campus, binary vs. nonbinary gender experiences in the South, and urban exceptionalism, among others.

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