Spilling the T on Trans-Misogyny and Microaggressions: An Intersectional Oppression and Social Process Among Trans Women

J Homosex. 2019;66(10):1415-1438. doi: 10.1080/00918369.2018.1542203. Epub 2018 Nov 26.


Minority stress frameworks seek to explain how stress impacts the health of minorities. Examining the social location of trans women in society is critical to understand the unique forms of oppression that engender stress and microaggression for trans women. This article uses intersectionality to examine the lived experiences of young trans women and develop new theoretical concepts to understand the social process of trans-misogyny. We use grounded theory to analyze semistructured, in-depth interviews conducted with 38 young trans women ages 16-24 in Los Angeles and Chicago. Our findings describe key concepts: trans-misogyny, cis-sexism, the passing complex, and transition work. We describe how trans-misogyny acts as an intersectional, interlocking structure of oppression, fueling the passing complex, and, as a result, how trans women experience overt and covert forms of discrimination.

Keywords: Transgender; intersectionality; microaggression; minority stress; oppression.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Chicago
  • Female
  • Grounded Theory
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Los Angeles
  • Minority Groups / psychology
  • Sexism
  • Social Discrimination*
  • Transgender Persons / psychology*
  • Young Adult