“I Am Not Alone in This” : An Ethnographic Exploration of Transgender Community in Calgary, Alberta, Canada

University essay from Lunds universitet/Graduate School

Author: Elizabeth Courtney Cameron; [2012]

Keywords: Social Sciences;

Abstract: This thesis focuses on membership and participation in transgender (and, by extension, queer) communities in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. It is informed by queer feminist theories of gender as well as anthropological theory and methodology and is based on a two month fieldwork period with particular reliance on semi-structured interviews. It explores participants’ experiences of gender policing and transgressing heterosexual norms as well as their experiences with taking part in trans and queer communities in contemporary Calgary. Further, it advances a critical perspective on ideas of transgender as a singular homogenous category or community and calls attention to gaps between queer theories of gender and the lived experiences of trans folk. Finally, it suggests how anthropological methodology could be helpful in addressing these problems and how a greater anthropological engagement with queer and transgender studies could be fruitful for both areas of study.

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