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Young trans people's experiences of leisure and mental health: belonging, creativity, and navigation
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Epidemiology and Global Health.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5011-2233
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Epidemiology and Global Health.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6401-889X
2023 (English)In: Wellbeing, Space and Society, ISSN 2666-5581, Vol. 4, article id 100139Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

There is a lack of research on young trans people's everyday leisure. This article analyses how leisure, defined within a broad spatial context beyond sport and physical activity, is perceived and experienced by trans youth in relation to their mental health and wellbeing. We draw upon theoretical concepts of cisnormativity and spatiality to our analysis of sixteen interviews with young trans people (16-25 years old) in Sweden. Three themes emerged. The first refers to how both queer- and non-queer-specific leisure spaces connect people with similar (and different) experiences regarding queer and trans identities and shows how these identities can shift in importance. The second highlights how creative spaces (e.g., theatre, cosplay) can offer opportunities to carve out a leisured space to explore different gender identity/ies and expressions that are often crucial and life changing. The final theme illustrates how leisure is avoided, postponed, waited for, and reclaimed by trans youth. Excluding mechanisms such as transphobia, cisnormativity, and the lack of access to gender-confirming care can hinder young people's leisure participation. Our analysis illustrates the complex connections between leisure and mental health among young people with trans experiences. Leisure can be a source of discomfort and distress but also of belongingness and affirmation of one's identity. Finding and accessing strengthening leisure spaces demands emotional investment, engagement, and navigation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2023. Vol. 4, article id 100139
Keywords [en]
Transgender youth, Leisure, Mental health, Cisnormativity, Spatiality
National Category
Gender Studies Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology Other Health Sciences Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
Research subject
Public health
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-205708DOI: 10.1016/j.wss.2023.100139Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85149360484OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-205708DiVA, id: diva2:1743552
Funder
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, 2019:00355Available from: 2023-03-15 Created: 2023-03-15 Last updated: 2023-03-16Bibliographically approved

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Gotfredsen, AnneLinander, Ida

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
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