First Advisor

Dr. Kai Hang Cheang

Date of Award

Spring 5-23-2024

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Sexuality, Gender, and Queer Studies and University Honors


Sexuality, Gender, and Queer Studies




Body-Image, Desirability Politics, Trans & Non-Binary, Disability, Sex & Intimacy


Due to the ableism, whiteness, and cisgender-heteropatriarchy in the US, people who are marked by racial, physical, neuro, and gendered differences are stereotypically considered to be less desirable. By applying a perspective informed by Disability Studies, Trans Studies, and Queer of Color Theory (including scholars like Eli Clare, Robert McRuer, Sonya Renee Taylor, Audre Lorde, Sami Schalk, Chris Finley, and Alicia Cox), I investigate how societal norms, beauty standards, and systemic oppression have disproportionately impacted the body-images and sex lives of trans and non-binary people with physical (dis)abilities. This thesis aims to shed light on the variety of ways in which we - as a society - can adapt to resist oppression by centering conversations of pleasure and joy in our lives, despite the ongoing violence and harm that minority groups are subjected to.