Gender, stage of transition and situational avoidance: a UK study of trans people's experiences

Sonja J. Ellis, Jay McNeil, Louis Bailey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


Most societies are heavily organised around a dichotomous model of gender, and individuals are heavily policed on their conformity (or otherwise) to gender norms. This scrutinisation of gender has a profound impact on the identities and lived experiences of trans people, especially for those whose gender identity (or presentation) does not appear to match social expectations for that gender; or where someone's physical body in some way does not match the body conventionally associated with that gender. This might result in trans people avoiding certain situations to reduce the risk of being exposed. Based on a sample of 889 UK-based participants who self-defined as trans, the current paper explores situational avoidance with particular reference to gender identity and stage of transition. A key finding of this study concerned statistically significant associations between group (gender identity and stage of transition) and avoidance (or not) of certain situations, namely clothing shops, gyms, and public toilets. The implications of these findings for supporting trans people through transition - in particular, the real life experience - are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)351-364
Number of pages14
JournalSexual and Relationship Therapy
Issue number3
Early online date15 Apr 2014
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2014
Externally publishedYes


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