Timelines and transitions: Understanding transgender and non-binary people’s participation in everyday sport and physical exercise through a temporal lens

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Abstract

Participation in sport can improve physical, mental and psychological well-being, yet transgender and non-binary people are less likely to engage in sport compared to their cisgender peers. Drawing on interviews with eighteen transgender and non-binary people , we examine two intersecting timelines shaping participants’ narratives: 1) the ‘classic’ timeline of gender transition which evokes a linear ‘before-and-after’, and 2) timelines of sporting disruption and resolution, which is non-linear. We argue that transitioning (physical or social) opens up a liminal space/time where physical activity is disrupted or on hold, time is characterised by waiting, perhaps to access surgeries, or to be ‘approved’ to play competitively, and gender binaries are challenged. Adopting a temporal lens, this chapter retrospectively explores the multiple narratives told by transgender and non-binary people about their experiences of participating in everyday sport and physical exercise. In conclusion, examining these intersecting narratives of time helps us to draw out experiences of inclusion and exclusion in sport for transgender and non-binary people.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTemporality in Qualitative Inquiry
Subtitle of host publicationTheories, Methods and Practices
EditorsBryan Clift, Julie Gore, Stefanie Gustafsson, Sheree Bekker, Ioannis Costas Batlle, Jenny Hatchard
Place of PublicationOxon
PublisherRoutledge
Chapter3
Pages57-71
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)9780367538514
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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