Authenticity, validation and sexualisation on Grindr: an analysis of trans women’s accounts

Article


Lloyd, Christopher E. M. and Finn, M. 2017. Authenticity, validation and sexualisation on Grindr: an analysis of trans women’s accounts. Psychology & Sexuality. 8 (1-2), pp. 158-169.
AuthorsLloyd, Christopher E. M. and Finn, M.
Abstract

The socio-historic sexualisation of transgender identities is reported to have disaffirming consequences for the broad trans community, and for trans women in particular. Given trans people’s increasing use of socio-sexual ‘hook-up’ apps, this paper looks at trans women’s talk of self/other identifications in relation to their regular use of Grindr. Eight semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted with London-based women who identified as trans* in some way. A Foucauldian-informed discourse analysis highlights intersecting frames of trans authenticity, validation and sexualisation. Within these frames, trans women can be variously positioned in gendered and sexualised ways. Specifically, a discourse of trans authenticity is seen to involve the marking out of an identificatory truth that is situated in culturally acceptable and hence de-sexualised womanhood, while a competing discourse of trans validation involves an ambiguity and eroticism that can serve to reimagine this truth. Trans subjectivities can thus consist of a desire for authentic (gendered and non-sexualised) selfhood, on the one hand, and self-affirming ambiguity and sexualisation on the other. That trans women can construct ambivalent relationships with trans-sexualisation discourse highlights the limitation of anti-sexualisation advocacy and implications for supporting trans sexualities are considered.

KeywordsTrans women; trans sexuality; sexualisation; Grindr; discourse
JournalPsychology & Sexuality
Journal citation8 (1-2), pp. 158-169
ISSN1941-9902
1941-9899
Year2017
PublisherTaylor & Francis (Routledge)
Accepted author manuscript
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1080/19419899.2017.1316769
Publication dates
Print18 Apr 2017
Publication process dates
Deposited17 May 2017
Accepted03 Apr 2017
Copyright informationThis is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in Psychology & Sexuality on 18/04/2017, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/19419899.2017.1316769.
LicenseAll rights reserved (under embargo)
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