Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Sara L. Crawley, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Sara E. Green, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Donileen R. Loseke, Ph.D.


GoFundMe, Healthcare, Narrative, Trans


Crowdfunding websites, such as GoFundMe, have provided a new avenue for (some) individuals to fund their healthcare needs. The use of these sites requires individuals to story their medical need, in the hopes of receiving financial assistance. Trans individuals encounter unique challenges within the healthcare system, including providers’ lack of knowledge, a dearth of competent care, and widespread individual and institutional cissexism. Because of the difficulties acquiring competent trans-healthcare compounded with broader inadequacies in our healthcare system, many trans folks and their loved ones turn to crowdfunding platforms to help cover the cost of medical transition. In this thesis I conduct a narrative analysis of 100 top surgery campaigns to examine the construction of medical and financial need, as well as moral worthiness for financial assistance within these campaigns. I find that story authors make use of a trans(ition) formula story that relies upon both a medical model of transness and a normative pride narrative to make their stories understandable and worthy of donations to audiences. In addition, I argue that GoFundMe top surgery campaigns rely upon transnormative ideologies when creating both financial need and moral worthiness that reinforce broader capitalist understandings of morality.