Reception of Transgender Women in Online Lesbian Spaces

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2022-04-14

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Prior research has documented the interactions between transgender and cisgender women-loving-women in offline lesbian spaces. The relationship between these groups is complex, varying between transphobia and allyship. However, the amount of research on these interactions in online lesbian spaces is sparse. This gap in the knowledge persists, despite other research showing that online platforms are crucial for many queer people to discover themselves and communicate with each other without the physical limitations of offline environments. Given the importance of this research, I intend to fill the gaps in the knowledge with my senior honors thesis. This summer was spent immersing myself in the literature of prior research on transgender and cisgender lesbians as well as the internet’s impact on the queer community to bring them both together as a foundation for the study. In the coming semesters, I plan to interview up to thirty transgender women who are members of the lesbian Subreddit “r/actuallesbians� to ask about their experiences in that online space as well as general experiences on Reddit as a whole, regarding their identity. These women will be recruited through online solicitation and snowball sampling. The research question to be answered is this: How are transgender women-loving-women received in online spaces made by and for women-loving-women?

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