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What is it like to be the partner of someone who is transgender?

20 June 2017

The experiences of people who’ve been through a gender transition have been studied and analysed by psychologists – showing, for example, improved psychological wellbeing and self-esteem after hormone treatment.

But when it comes to their partners, there’s been much less research.

According to a new study in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, though, they often go through a kind of life transition of their own, and while there are certainly challenges, there are often positive changes, too.

Lisa Platt at West Virginia University, US and Kayla Bolland at New Mexico State University conducted semi-structured interviews with 21 partners of transgender people – these partners were both female to male and male to female, plus there was a group that identified as gender neutral or fluid.

The interviewees themselves were mostly not heterosexual, they lived in the US or Canada, and they included 13 cisgender women (women who’s gender identity matches their birth sex), 2 cisgender men, 4 transgender people, and 2 people with fluid or bi-gender identities.

Read more on our Research Digest blog.

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