Participating in sport and physical exercise (SPE) can be challenging for transgender and non-binary people. Previous research has identified some of the barriers trans people face in schools, leisure spaces and competitive sports (e.g. gender segregation, gendered language, sports clothing, and transphobia), and the resultant poor rates of participating in everyday SPE compared to the cisgender population. Yet, despite the ways in which sport, the experience of being trans, and being trans in sport are often framed as intensely focused on the body, less attention has been paid to the embodied experience of trans people as they engage in SPE. This paper draws on selected data examples from a qualitative study examining trans adults’ experiences of engaging in everyday SPE and looks towards Wellard’s [(2012). Body-reflexive pleasures: Exploring bodily experiences within the context of sport and physical activity. Sport, Education and Society, 17(1), 21–33. https://doi.org/10.1080/13573322.2011.607910] concept of circuits of body-reflexive pleasure, to explore how participants’ make sense of their embodied selves. Sitting at the intersection of social, physiological and psychological experiences of sport, we explore how circuits of body-reflexive pleasure (and displeasures) in SPE can induce feelings of gender dysphoria as well as feelings of pleasure and gender euphoria.
- the body