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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Non-binary and transmasculine reproduction : stories of conception, pregnancy, and birth Fischer, Olivia


The question that guided this inquiry was: how do non-binary and transmasculine people narrate their stories of conception, pregnancy, and birth? A qualitative, narrative approach was determined to be most appropriate for answering this question. Five non-binary individuals volunteered to participate in this study. Data were collected using largely unstructured, in-depth, tape-recorded interviews. Analysis of the verbatim transcripts and tape recordings yielded a chronological, cohesive narrative for each participant. Four participants reviewed their narrative and confirmed that their story was accurately represented. The individual narratives were then woven into one collective narrative and common themes across the participants’ stories were identified. Before conception, most participants considered how to balance their medical and social transitions with their reproductive goals. Conception was relatively easy and straightforward for the four participants who used their partner’s sperm. The gendered nature of, and language surrounding, pregnancy greatly impacted participant’s reproductive experiences, leading to gender dysphoria, feelings of isolation and loneliness, and difficulties finding maternity clothes. Participants desired gender affirming care and reported mostly positive experiences with their health care providers. Their gender identity influenced their experiences of parenthood, as well as the decisions they made regarding the disclosure of their gender identity to others, their gender presentation, chestfeeding, and parental designations. The heteronormative, cisnormative scripts that surround pregnancy shaped the reproductive narratives of those who participated in this research. The findings reinforce the importance of inclusive, gender affirming health care and social support services.

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