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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The Fred Study : stories of life satisfaction and wellness from post-transition transgender men Greatheart, Marcus Skidley


The Fred Study is a Vancouver-based narrative study exploring life satisfaction, mental health and wellness as described by eight transgender men. Focus groups and follow-up individual interviews were conducted and guided in part using a strengths-based model commonly used in social work practice. Participants in this study discussed how peers and service providers alike perpetuate a dominant “negative transition story” which suggests all transgender men struggle with long-term substance abuse issues, depression, suicide, and life-long gender dysphoria, and will endure endless healthcare waitlists for hormones or surgical interventions ensuring they conform to normative gender standards and behave as heterosexual after transition. Despite these perceived challenges participants described having a positive transition experience while demonstrating resilience and self-efficacy in negotiating the healthcare system to access the care they desired. Coping strategies and impacts on mental health and substance abuse are discussed here, as well as implications for social work practice and ongoing research with this population. An assessment tool is described that mental health providers can use to assist trans clients uncover potential transgender-related stress or trauma.

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