Main Body

CHAPTER 3: The Big Picture

Mateo Huezo

I have already described The TCS Project, how trans community members contributed their knowledge to it, and how the community was also involved in analyzing the resultant surveys and focus group transcripts (Chapters 1 and 2). Five major theme groupings emerged from the analysis:

  1. Extra-Community Challenges
  2. Extra-Community Strengths
  3. Intra-Community Challenges
  4. Intra-Community Strengths
  5. Trans Culture

Extra-Community groupings represent themes located in a social space outside of trans communities. These include perspectives about the community from an outsider’s point of view, as well as ideas about how trans people relate to cisgender people. The Intra-Community and Trans Culture theme groupings represent knowledge internal to trans communities. The final coding framework is organized into these five major theme groupings, with 33 associated subthemes.

Figure 3.1 below gives a depiction of the hierarchical organization of Trans Community Knowledge themes. You can click on the image to see it larger, or click here. There is a chapter devoted to detailing each of the five major themes in this hierarchy, Chapters 4 through 8 respectively. As always, you can use the right-hand pane to navigate to each of these chapters at any time, or click on the arrows to your left and right to access the previous or next page.

All subthemes occurred across both the Edmonton and Calgary groups, though the attention the groups gave to each topic varied. No new themes came up in the surveys, and so surveys were grouped alongside the focus group discussion transcripts for analysis. The fact that no new themes were written but not spoken is perhaps one indicator that participants felt comfortable enough to share with their focus groups during their session hours. (Both groups also provided this feedback verbally at the end of sessions).

It is important to note that the relationships between themes and subthemes are not one-dimensional. They related heavily to one another. If I were to draw all the associations in Figure 3.1 below, it would look like a giant tangle of string! (I tried this). Figure 9.1 (Chapter 9) provides a visual example of the relationships among several themes. Further relationships are also visited in the subtheme descriptions from Chapters 4 through 8.

Figure 3.1. Trans Community Knowledge hierarchy of themes and subthemes.

Now that we’ve reviewed the foundation of what this project entailed and the big picture of what trans people had to say in this study, we can get into the nitty gritty. So let’s get into it! The next five chapters will visit each major theme group in succession, along with their associated subthemes.