School for Social Work
Lesbian-Sexual behavior, Intimacy (Psychology), Sex (Psychology), Gender non-conforming, Gender queer, Gender non-binary, Queer, Same-sex, AFAB, Emotional intimacy, Sexual intimacy, Relationships
The purpose of this qualitative study is to address the question: In what ways, if any, does non-conforming gender expression shape the lived experience of emotional and sexual intimacy of partners assigned female at birth same-sex romantic relationships? Healthy relationships are found to contribute to overall positive health outcomes and general satisfaction with life and sexual and emotional intimacy are necessary precursors for establishing healthy and satisfying relationships. Twelve assigned female at birth (AFAB) individuals in same-sex relationships participated. Six identified as gender non-conforming (GNC) and six were partnered with individuals who identified as gender non-conforming. Four major themes were uncovered. First, these findings revealed that the more gender fluid their partner is, the more comfortable the GNC partner was to express their own gender fluidity. Second, although the harmful effects of unsupportive or traumatic incidences in the lives of GNC people and their partners were present, supportive family, communities and allyship were protective factors for these participants. Third, emotional intimacy was negatively affected by daily stressors, personal traumas, and insecurities, but is was strengthened by confidence in the relationship and negotiating and balancing differences. Finally, although a combination of external factors, interpersonal and intrapersonal dynamics affected sexual intimacy, validating and acknowledging a GNC partner’s gender during sex was necessary for sexual intimacy for both partner groups.
Goitia, Denise E., "Experiences of intimacy and gender non-conformity in assigned female at birth (AFAB) same-sex partnerships" (2016). Masters Thesis, Smith College, Northampton, MA.