First Advisor

Nicholas A. Smith

Date of Award

Fall 12-2022

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Psychology and University Honors

Department

Psychology

Language

English

Subjects

nonbinary, workplace, employee, gender, microaggressions, identity

Abstract

Transgender issues in the workplace have only recently become a focus in research, and it is still new and understudied. Even less studied is the demographic of gender expansive individuals including nonbinary and gender non-conforming individuals. This qualitative study aims to explore and highlight workplace experiences for nonbinary people, with a particular focus on younger nonbinary people who experience less employment stability in more public facing jobs. Thirteen participants engaged in interviews where they were asked to describe their experiences dealing with discrimination, harassment and transphobia in the workplace, in addition to sharing their ideas for practical solutions or changes they would like to see implemented that they feel would better support them. They shared experiences of encountering microaggressions, having their identities delegitimize and misunderstood, and being forced to engage in distressing amounts of unpaid emotional labor to educate their peers. Additionally, topics of identity management and its place in modern workplace culture were brought into light and themes of performativity and conditional allyship arose. Various ideas for improvement are discussed, including structured advocacy, enacting accountability, and policies to outline the consequences of committing microaggressions.

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