Cis-supremacy: Experiences of trans children and families in the UK

Horton, Cal. 2023. Cis-supremacy: Experiences of trans children and families in the UK. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

Text (Cis-supremacy: Experiences of trans children and families in the UK)
EDU_thesis_HortonC_2023.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (1MB) | Preview

Abstract or Description

Growing numbers of trans children are being supported by their families in childhood, ‘socially transitioning’ pre-adolescence. Globally, there is limited literature on the experiences of this generation of affirmed trans children, with extremely limited literature on the experiences of trans children and families in the UK. This thesis addresses this research gap, listening to the experiences of trans children and their parents across important domains including in families, in schools and in healthcare. I approached the research as both an outsider and an insider, building on my experience as a non-binary parent of a trans child, prompting a significant emphasis on research ethics. The research sample centres UK-based families where a trans child socially transitioned under the age of eleven, with the average age of social transition within the sample being 7 years old (range 3-10 years old). The thesis draws upon a rich qualitative dataset formed from in-depth interviews with 30 parents and 10 trans children, with data analysed through reflexive thematic analysis. Findings are interpreted thematically and theoretically, drawing upon concepts of cisnormativity, gender minority stress and pathologisation. The thesis pulls together diverse threads and experiences to explore how cis-supremacy shapes trans children’s lives, shedding light on the operation and impact of cis-supremacy in key systems and institutions. This research provides a valuable addition to the existing literature, enhancing understanding of experiences of cis-supremacy in families, school and healthcare, with analysis and insight relevant for policy and practice across diverse domains.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

Identification Number (DOI):


trans; transgender; child; families; LGBT; minority stress; pathologisation; prejudice; gender dysphoria; gender incongruence; healthcare; education

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Educational Studies


30 June 2023

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

18 Jul 2023 11:33

Last Modified:

20 Jul 2023 11:43


View statistics for this item...

Edit Record Edit Record (login required)