Date of Graduation

5-2022

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

School of Social Work

Advisor

Jacob Goffnett

Committee Member

Kimberly Stauss

Second Committee Member

Jordan Blair Woods

Keywords

Coming out, Experiences, Gender Diverse, Qualitative, Southeastern US, Transgender

Abstract

Researching the experiences of the TGD community can help better understand the unique struggles this community may face, specifically regarding the unique experiences southeastern United States TGD individuals have encountered. We draw on previous studies regarding the entire LGBTQ+ community and the minimal research on the TGD community. There is minimal research looking specifically at the experiences college TGD students have when coming out in different aspects and the perceptions TGD individuals have about themselves as a result of their experiences coming out. We conducted a survey with 37 respondents as well as 4 qualitative interviews. We present interviews conducted with TGD individuals and their experiences coming out to their family of origin, religious institute, place of work, and at the University of Arkansas, to better understand the unique experiences individuals have had. The findings were conflicting and complex due to the variety of experiences shared by interviewees. Both positive and negative experiences were shared by interviewees regarding their experiences, and the events that led to their different reactions to coming out were explored.

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