Communication ETDs

Publication Date

Fall 11-15-2016


The purpose of this study is to identify and understand ways transgender and gender non-conforming people living in Albuquerque, New Mexico are communicating about and understanding their health and wellness needs and the health and wellness needs of their community. Partnering with the Transgender Resource Center of New Mexico, I used a community-based participatory approach to work on a Photovoice project that identified health and wellness related needs as defined by the community. Emergent themes identified by the participants highlighted various challenges and strengths to health and wellness for transgender and gender non-conforming people. I identify five core cultural premises present in the themes identified by participants: (1) transition is a process deserving of chronicling and archiving; (2) trans-stress is persistent throughout the lives of transgender people; (3) bodies are central to transgender experiences but are not the essence of transgender experiences; (4) transition is an ongoing process; and (5) there is no singular transgender experience or narrative. In order to further investigate the dialectical tensions present in these premises, I offer a new framework of TransWellness.


transgender, communication, health communication, photovoice, community based participatory research

Document Type


Degree Name


Level of Degree


Department Name

Department of Communication and Journalism

First Committee Member (Chair)

Dr. Tema Milstein

Second Committee Member

Dr. Tamar Ginossar

Third Committee Member

Dr. Magdalena Avila

Fourth Committee Member

Dr. Karen Foss