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Binary-trans, non-binary and gender-questioning adolescents’ experiences in UK schools

Accepted version
Peer-reviewed

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Type

Article

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Authors

Bower-Brown, S 
Zadeh, S 

Abstract

A growing number of adolescents are using a number of different identities to describe their gender. Schools have been noted for their uninclusive environments and high levels of discrimination for LGBTQ+ individuals, yet research has neglected the school experiences of UK gender-diverse adolescents. This article explores the school experiences and navigation strategies of gender-diverse adolescents in the UK, examining the experiences of binary-trans, non-binary and gender-questioning adolescents separately. The data presented in this article come from a large survey of LGBTQ+ young people’s social experiences; a subsample of 74 adolescents’ (25 binary-trans, 25 non-binary, and 24 gender-questioning) open-ended responses were selected for qualitative thematic analysis. Findings highlight that gender-diverse adolescents experience discrimination within the school environment from the curriculum, space, peers and teachers, and a number of strategies, including disclosure negotiation, cognitive restructuring and proactive protection, are used to navigate this environment. Findings shed light on the school experiences of gender-diverse adolescents, and suggest that the British school system is fundamentally unsuitable for non-binary and gender-questioning identities.

Description

Keywords

Transgender, non-binary, gender-questioning, school, adolescence

Journal Title

Journal of LGBT Youth

Conference Name

Journal ISSN

1936-1653
1936-1661

Volume Title

Publisher

Informa UK Limited

Rights

All rights reserved
Sponsorship
Wellcome Trust (208013/Z/17/Z)
Stonewall