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Essay Humanities Natural Sciences Nonfiction Social Sciences

[Transgender] Young Men: Gendered Subjectivities and the Physically Active Body

By Jayne Caudwell, 2014

Sport, Education and Society, v19 n4 p398-414 2014 In this paper, I discuss [transgender] young men’s social, physical and embodied experiences of sport. These discussions draw from interview research with two young people who prefer to self-identify as “male” and not as “trans men”, although they do make use of this term. Finn and Ed volunteered to take part in the research following my request for volunteers at a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth group. Their narratives provide valuable testimonies on transgender and transgender and sport: more specifically, their experiences of school sport, their embodied subjectivities, transitioning and sport participation. The focus on transgender and sport also highlights the taken-for-granted assumption that a coherent LGBT collective exists and that transgender is a fixed, definable and agreed-upon category. The paper, therefore, has two aims. First, it intends to privilege and document the views of two young people who identify with a group that is often marginalised. Their narratives raise significant questions in relation to transgender and sport participation in educational and recreational settings. Second, the paper seeks to expose the methodological and ontological complexities surrounding “LGBT” and “transgender” and place these debates within sport and educational studies. Descriptors: Males, Human Body, Athletics, Sexual Identity, Personal Narratives, Gender Issues, Physical Education, Participation, Social Influences, Recreation, Homosexuality, Qualitative Research, Adolescents, Young Adults, Semi Structured Interviews, Sexual Orientation, Foreign Countries

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