What does gender affirmation mean to you? An exploratory study

Caroline G. Dorsen, Noelle Leonard, Lloyd Goldsamt, Amy Warner, Kevin Gomez Moore, Nathan Levitt, Peri Rosenfeld

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Gender affirmation lessens mental health disparities among transgender and gender nonbinary (TGNB) persons. However, the concept of what it means to be affirmed in one's gender has not been fully explored, nor has the impact of gender affirmation on other health indicators been determined. The purpose of this study was to explore the meaning of gender affirmation among a sample of TGNB persons. Methods: This qualitative, narrative inquiry study consisted of individual, in-depth, semi-structured interviews with a convenience sample of 20 TGNB persons. Descriptive content analysis was conducted to discover themes. Results: This study identified salient themes regarding the multiple levels of affirmation (including internal, external and societal) needed to achieve the overall goal of living an optimal life described as “being seen, heard and even celebrated” as TGNB. Conclusion: Results of this study have clinical, educational, research, and policy implications. Future research should explore the impact of gender affirmation on important health indicators in the TGNB community, differences in the experiences and needs among subgroups of TGNB persons, and the potential impact of nurses on the health experience of TGNB persons across the spectrum of transition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)34-41
Number of pages8
JournalNursing forum
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing


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