Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

First Advisor

L. Kaifa Roland

Second Advisor

Kira Hall

Third Advisor

Emmanuel David

Fourth Advisor

Bianca Williams

Fifth Advisor

Kathyrn Goldfarb


This dissertation argues that transgender men have a different positionality than cisgender men. Being raised as a girl, socialized as a woman, and then transitioning to a visible man can allow trans men to develop masculinities that do not fall into heteronormative hegemonic norms. Trans men bring the politics, social values, and experience of sexism into their identities creating different types of masculinities that cannot be encompassed by normative categories. Based on the ethnographic evidence gathered in this project, such men are identifying themselves as trans men, rather than solely as men. A model was developed from the data that illustrates how transitioning from one gender to another is an act that brings new perspective on how gender operates in our culture. From this viewpoint, trans men have the ability to more consciously create the sort of man they want to be.

The project centers around the axes of the value added by trans masculinities, trans embodiment, and trans sexualities. Each of these identities is found to be socially negotiated in the cultural milieu, providing an opportunity for anthropologists to more closely examine how these new identities are being formed, contested, and incorporated into society.