Sociology, Department of


Date of this Version

Spring 4-22-2016


Kichler, Rosalind D. 2016. "Understanding Transgender Community: Locating Support and Resiliency Using the Minority Stress Model." M.A. Thesis, Department of Sociology, University of Nebraska, Lincoln.


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Arts, Major: Sociology, Under the Supervision of Professor Emily Kazyak. Lincoln, Nebraska: May, 2016

Copyright © 2016 Rosalind Kichler


The minority stress model (Meyer 2003) predicts stigmatized minorities, like transgender persons, suffer worse mental health due to exposure to discrimination. However support from similarly stigmatized others can ameliorate the effect of discrimination stress. Although gender and sexual minorities are often assumed to have access to and support from “the” LGBTQ community or “the” transgender community, many may not understand themselves as members of this community nor feel supported by it. Therefore it is essential to interrogate what community means to LGBTQ persons, particularly to transgender people for whom a paucity of literature exists. Based on in-depth interviews with 10 trans persons living in a midsize town in Florida I found participants understood community as small personal communities defined by connection and care, similar to families of choice (Weston 1991). These personal communities provided frequent, unique and truly multidimensional support enabling the development of resiliency.

Advisor: Emily Kazyak