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'Bye-bye boobies': normativity, deservingness and medicalisation in transgender medical crowdfunding.

Authors
  • Barcelos, Chris A1
  • 1 Gender and Women's Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, USA.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Culture, health & sexuality
Publication Date
Dec 01, 2019
Volume
21
Issue
12
Pages
1394–1408
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1080/13691058.2019.1566971
PMID: 30762488
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Transgender individuals experience multiple barriers to accessing care related to medical transition, including a shortage of providers as well as health insurance programmes that categorically exclude the provision of gender-affirming hormones and surgery. Like people seeking financial support for health care related to illness or injury, many transgender people utilise web-based crowdfunding to help pay for medical transition costs. Although a growing body of research finds that medical crowdfunding individualises the effects of health inequalities, little of this research has focused specifically on trans crowdfunding. A dataset of 410 crowdfunding campaigns for medical transition was created. The majority of online campaigns were used to fund chest surgeries among young, white, binary-identified trans men in the USA. On average, campaigns raise only about 25% of their fundraising goal. Using thematic narrative analysis, I find that campaign narratives exhibit several main themes: trans 101, biological essentialism, insurance access, deservingness, normative transition and notions of progress. These themes illustrate how transgender medical crowdfunding is a response to inequalities but also has the effect of reproducing them.

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