Transgender Experiences Beyond the Binary: A Phenomenological Study of Arizonans with Non-Binary Gender Identities

Document
Description

This phenomenological study explores the question: What are the lived experiences of Arizonans who identify their gender identities as ‘non-binary’? (‘non-binary’ defined here as anyone who identifies their gender as

This phenomenological study explores the question: What are the lived experiences of Arizonans who identify their gender identities as ‘non-binary’? (‘non-binary’ defined here as anyone who identifies their gender as something other than ‘always and exclusively male or always and exclusively female’). The study explores the lived realities of four non-binary identified transgender people living in Arizona. Each participant took a short survey and conducted a 45-minute in-person interview, conducted through phenomenological questioning to evoke deep descriptions of experience. After analyzing the results through feminist hermeneutic phenomenology, this study suggests that the experience of non-binary gender identity presents an essential pattern of cultivating self-realization. The essential themes of internal recognition, external presentation, and movement toward wellness fell into this pattern. The United States has conceptualized transgender identity in many ways, from pathologizing to politicizing, to medically affirming views. Although the literature on this topic is quite small, there is no doubt that non-binary transgender people exist in U.S. public life. Ultimately, if non-binary people are to find affirming paths toward self-realization, they must be heard from their own experiences in their own voices.