Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Liberal Arts (M.L.A.)

Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Daniel Lende, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Heide Castaneda, Ph.D.

Committee Member

David Rubin, Ph.D.


Alternative Gender Affirming Care, Community Care, Trans Care, Violence


The LGBTQ+ community faces discrimination and oppression throughout U.S. history and today. In particular, transgender and gender nonconforming (TGNC) individuals may face a variety of challenges when seeking biomedical health care tied to hostility, discomfort, lack of training, stigma, and denial of care at clinics or hospitals (Baker & Beagan, 2014; Lykens et al., 2018; Safer, 2021). TGNC individuals face medical gatekeeping when trying to access medical gender-affirming care (Aizura, 2018; Malatino, 2020). The research project aims to investigate these individuals' healthcare experiences, and access to both medicalized and nonmedicalized gender affirming health care practices.

In order to conduct this research a targeted sampling approach along with respondent-driven sampling will be taken. The methods used to collect data include a survey of approximately 30 to 50 participants and semi-structured interviews of approximately 15-20 participants. In order to participate in the research individual’s must, self-identify as transgender/GNF, be over 18 years of age, and live in the greater Tampa Bay area. The application of intersectionality as a theoretical approach will be used as a base for analysis transgender/GNF individuals’ health care practices existing outside the bounds of the biomedical industrial complex will be assessed. Through investigating the current situation and realities of care for transgender/GNC individuals there should be implications where care, support, and access are lacking.

This research is not aimed at looking at whether there is a greater need for access to high-quality medical treatment and health care for all individuals, including that of accurate and knowledgeable care for TGNC people. Instead, this research is aimed at investigating the realities of TGNC identity, expression, and care that are forming outside of the medical industrial complex sometimes being known as do-it-yourself (DIY) technologies. When examining trans/GNC health care there cannot only be an examination of the medical transition but also the queer experiences that continue to exist outside of the confines of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DMS-5) pathological labels. This research aims to get insight into who is able to utilize biomedicine, who wants to utilize biomedicine, and what exists beyond these confines.

In addition to the need for a larger scope of research on trans/GNC gender-affirming health care practices, there is also a specific need for the account of trans DIY and TGNC identities outside of medical spaces. DIY technologies enable TGNC individuals to increase their freedom of agency and involve a shared cultural narrative (Kimball 2006). Many in the field have called on medical anthropologists to pay more attention to TGNF individual’s health care experiences, access, and alternative gender-affirming health care practices.