American Studies ETDs

Publication Date



This dissertation argues a dominant transgender narrative manifested through a focus on transgender bodies and prioritizing access to medical procedures when personal stories began to be publicly shared. With limited public conversations about the influence of a dominant transgender narrative, public understandings about the community have become isolated to one facet of some peoples lived experiences. Focusing on the Transgender Resource Center of New Mexico, I examine the ways in which white privilege and presumptions about rural life as in certain respects antithetical to a transgender community have shaped the predominant representation of transgender in ways that often obscure the complexities of local context. Examining the iconic visual and popular culture representations and how they have contributed to creating a dominant transgender narrative, I seek to complicate the ways in which these prevailing tropes that presume the centrality of transgender medical transition narratives and urban (coastal) community formation. My hope is this research created an opening to more fully understand the impacts of whiteness, privilege and oppressive practices especially around how public knowledge is put forth about the transgender community.




Transgender, Rurality, White Privilege

Document Type


Degree Name

American Studies

Level of Degree


Department Name

American Studies

First Committee Member (Chair)

Alyosha Goldstein

Second Committee Member

Rebecca Schreiber

Third Committee Member

Brian Herrera

Fourth Committee Member

Susan Stryker