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The coming out experiences of South Asian trans people living in the UK: an interpretative phenomenological analysis

Khatun, S. (2018). The coming out experiences of South Asian trans people living in the UK: an interpretative phenomenological analysis. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City, University of London)


Trans people experience high rates of rejection and abandonment from families and friends, which may manifest in depression and alienation, as well as hopelessness when coming out (Gagne, Tewksbury, & McGaughey, 1997). Trans people of colour in particular live with unique intersections of discrimination based on race and their being trans (Crenshaw, 1991; Meyer, 2008). Negative psychosocial problems are more prevalent for trans people of colour due to the cumulative effects of racism, discrimination and transgender stigma (Diaz, Ayala, & Bein, 2004). The present study aims to explore the coming out experiences of South Asian trans people living in the UK. Semistructured interviews were conducted with six South Asian trans people in London to explore and gain an understanding of their coming out experiences. Analysis was embedded within an interpretative phenomenological analysis framework drawing upon intersectionality and feminist theory. Four main themes emerged from the analysis: negotiating self-identity; family responses and conflict with the South Asian community; exploration of identity; and support systems. Participants revealed challenging experiences of negotiating their intersecting identities in the context of their ethnic, religious, and cultural identity, as well as their gender. The narratives also drew light on the conflict between the fixed male and the fixed female binary, particularly in terms of expressing any kind of gender identity. Participants were caught between two conflicting cultures and trans and non-binary identities were generally rejected by their families and the community, which meant participants, had to choose a fully formed binary gender, or simply reject their identity in order to please. They described not being able to fit into both cultures and how it was more, safer and easier to come out for white trans people. Participants also described that it was difficult for them to access support and that a lack of culture specific support got in the way of transitioning. These findings are discussed in relation to wider research in this area. Strengths and limitations of the study, including future research and recommendations are outlined, particular in relation to the implications for counselling psychology.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Departments: Doctoral Theses
Doctoral Theses > School of Arts and Social Sciences Doctoral Theses
School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Psychology
[img] Text - Accepted Version
This document is not freely accessible until 30 April 2025 due to copyright restrictions.



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