Navigating stigma in neighborhoods and public spaces among transgender and nonbinary adults in New York City.

Taylor M. Lampe, Sari L. Reisner, Eric W. Schrimshaw, Asa Radix, Raiya Mallick, Salem Harry-Hernandez, Samuel Dubin, Aisha Khan, Dustin T. Duncan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Transgender and nonbinary (TGNB) individuals (those who transition genders or who have a gender outside the male-female binary) face high rates of structural and interpersonal stigma in public spaces. There is strong evidence that gender-based discrimination for TGNB individuals is associated with negative health outcomes. Studies have shown that discrimination varies by state, but little is known about neighborhood-level factors that impact experiences of stigma for TGNB adults. The purpose of this study is to qualitatively explore TGNB individuals’ experiences with gender-related stigma in neighborhoods and public spaces, and how they navigate experiences of harassment, and discrimination in New York City. Forty TGNB individuals were recruited in summer 2017 in New York City for semistructured qualitative interviews on health and neighborhoods. Thematic analysis coding process was used to determine themes. Themes related to stigma and neighborhoods were compiled and analyzed. Twenty-one participants discussed how spatial stigma is found not only in neighborhoods, but in transit, stores, and restaurants, creating a complex map of potentially stigmatizing areas. Respondents detailed how race and gender influence exposure to stigma in neighborhoods. Additionally, demographic compositions of neighborhoods influence individual experiences of harassment and discrimination. TGNB individuals employ complex coping strategies when experiencing stigma in neighborhoods and engage in multiple tactics to avoid or minimize future stigmatizing experiences. Stigmatizing neighborhoods vary by individual identities and neighborhood demographic compositions. Intersectionality is critical for future work and interventions. TGNB adults spend significant time navigating safety and avoiding stigma in urban spaces. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved)

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)477-487
Number of pages11
JournalStigma and Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2020


  • neighborhoods
  • qualitative
  • spatial
  • stigma
  • transgender

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Social Psychology
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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