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Seed Grant Awardee: Loretta LeMaster

Loretta LeMaster | Hugh Downs School of Human Communication

The purpose of this project is to understand how TGNC athletes story their own resilience in the context of the intersectionally constituted sport nexus that is designed to exclude. In light of this exclusion, TGNC athletes exist and persist. The narrative provides an effective communicative means through which we might better understand the mundane ways TGNC athletes navigate sporting contexts. The communicative terms of engagement that TGNC athletes use may and/or may not align with and/or against the historically sedimented sport nexus, which presumes a non-TGNC body and experience. Narrative means enable us to explore the communicative core that enables active and sustained athletic participation. Findings will provide policy and structural recommendations for stakeholders (Events, Collegiate, Youth Sport): (a) to increase recruitment, retention, and long-term participation of TGNC athletes, (b) to assess accurately how communicative practices in sport contexts affect TGNC participants’ levels-of-activity, and (c) to document innovative and mundane communicative and relational means by which TGNC athletes mitigate a sense of exclusion. In addition, the findings will result in publications and conference papers leading to the construction of training workshops for local stakeholders. This research reveals not only the constitutive elements of the sport nexus as an exclusionary force but also offers communicative means by which we might shift and change sporting practices to be more inclusive. To accomplish these theoretical and practical aims, we plan to answer the following research questions:

RQ1: How do TGNC athletes story their experience of sport?

RQ2: Despite operating in binarized structures, how do TGNC athletes co-construct belonging and empowerment?

Last updated April 2021.