Transgender Stigma in the Netherlands: A Qualitative Investigation

Ratcliffe, S. E. (University of Sydney), Stutterheim, S. E. (Maastricht University), Mevissen, F. E. F. (Maastricht University)

Transgender individuals experience an extensive range and degree of disadvantages that can be attributed to stigmatisation. This study set out to explore how transgender individuals in the Netherlands experience stigma using a general inductive approach, supplementing theoretical transgender literature with qualitative data. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 21 purposefully recruited, volunteer transgender individuals living in the Netherlands followed by an inductive thematic analysis with NVivio 10. Findings were subsequently verified with transgender individuals at various stages of transition. Stigma was found to be experienced in numerous contexts including interpersonal communities, public domains, gendered spaces and activities, educational settings, workplaces, housing, health care, while travelling, and internally. Participants frequently reflected on experiencing structural, interpersonal, anticipated, and self-stigma due to societal gender norms and a lack of understanding about transgender identities. Experiences of stigma were reported to negatively impact transgender individuals in various domains.

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