Transwomen's Memories of Parental Relationships: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis
Dearden, Georgina Eleanor Mary
This project presents an in-depth idiographic study of how a developing Transwoman identity impacts upon parental relationships in childhood and how these relationships impact sense of self and later relationships. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with six Transwomen and Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis applied to the transcripts. Two major themes emerged: the struggle to belong and the complex journey to becoming me. The theme the struggle to belong consists of six super ordinate themes: the disappointing feminine me, trying to belong, the unacceptable me, disconnection from others and self, the struggle in new relationships, and the influence of context. The second major theme, the complex journey to becoming me, comprises two super ordinate themes: the complexity of realising me and reconnection while still being me. The results are mainly discussed using theories of Parent Child Connectedness (PCC) and psychological autonomy. Areas for future research are highlighted. This study provides a valuable insight into the complex experience of negotiating a transsexual childhood which will be useful for professionals working with people with gender identity issues.