Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

(Trans)forming the family: A narrative inquiry into the experiences of transgender parents
by Polly, Ryan G., Ph.D., California Institute of Integral Studies, 2015, 137; 3712829
Abstract (Summary)

The categorization and stereotyping of fatherhood and motherhood have created a rigid binary social consciousness of gender-based expectations on parenting. These expectations, stemming from hetero/cisnormativity, leave little room for deviation. This dissertation challenges these expectations by examining the experiences of transgender parents as a means to expand the discourse around motherhood, fatherhood, and family.

The principal research question for this inquiry was, What do the narratives of transgender parents tell us about our understanding of motherhood, fatherhood, and family? To answer this question, this author recruited transgender individuals who also identify as a parent. The selection criteria included self-identification as either transgender or genderqueer and active involvement in parenting one or more children. Purposive sampling was utilized to identify the 5 participants for this study. Using narrative methodology, their stories were gathered and retold, gaining insight into their lived experiences as transgender parents.

Findings indicate that transgender parents challenge hetero/cisnormativity by redefining motherhood and fatherhood, creating a more fluid and inclusive definition of parent that is grounded in unconditional love and support and devoid of gender roles and stereotypes. Further findings demonstrate that transgender parents redefine family, including in their family circles individuals that offer support, unconditional love, and trust regardless of blood relation.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Raffanti, Michael
Commitee: Deslauriers, Daniel, Green, Jamison
School: California Institute of Integral Studies
Department: Transformative Studies
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 76/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: GLBT Studies, Gender studies
Keywords: Cisnormativity, Heteronormativity, Lgbt, Transgender, Transgender parenting
Publication Number: 3712829
ISBN: 9781321898972
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