Date of Award

August 2019

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Educational Psychology

First Advisor

Shannon Chavez-Korell

Committee Members

Sarah Morgan, Lance Weinhardt, Marty Sapp


Immigrants, Intersectionality, Latinx, Strengths, Transgender


Research on Trans immigrant communities of Latinx descent is underdeveloped, with even less emphasis on how this community experiences and copes with the stressors associated with their membership in multiple oppressed social groups (e.g., ethnicity, gender identity, and immigration status). Nativism, ethnocentrism, and cissexism all impact Trans Latinx immigrants, heightening their risk of being targets of community violence, hate crimes, and discrimination associated with their ethnicity, gender identity, and immigration status. These stressors and violence may be experienced by this community from within and outside their respective communities (e.g., Trans Community, Latinx Community, and Broader U.S. Community). The few available research studies have not considered the experiences of this community from both a strong (focus on interlocking systems of oppression) and weak (focus on multiple identities) intersectionality framework, failing to consider the complexity associated with Trans Latinx immigrants’ unique social position.

Given that the Trans Latinx immigrant community has a long-standing history of systemic and institutional discrimination, a collaborative partnership was established with a social worker who was the intermediary between this community and the primary student investigator. This partnership was housed under a community health center that provides services to the Latinx community and served to: (1) establish trust with Trans Latinx immigrants, and (2) recruit participants for this study. A Consensual Qualitative Research (CQR) paradigm was used to explore the ways in which nine Trans Latinx immigrants navigated their multiple social group memberships and how these influenced their negotiation of experiences with both individual and systemic oppression. A total of four domains emerged via the data analysis process each with a set of categories including: (1) the experiences of Trans Latinx immigrants in different lands (categories: pre-migration to the U.S.; post-migration to the U.S.), (2) benefits experienced by Trans Latinx immigrants (categories: rewards related to ethnicity; rewards related to being an immigrant; rewards related to being Trans; rewards related to belonging in multiple social groups), (3) challenges experienced by Trans Latinx immigrants (categories: disadvantages related to ethnicity; disadvantages related to being an immigrant; disadvantages related to being Trans; disadvantages related to belonging in multiple social groups), and (4) how Trans Latinx immigrants manage their challenges (categories: societal; familial; personal). Within each of these categories several subcategories further describing the experiences of this community also emerged (see Table 4.2). The participants in this study conveyed a myriad of challenges that mirror those faced by their broader Latinx, immigrant, and Trans communities, while simultaneously emphasizing a difficult narrative associated with their distinctive experience related to belonging to multiple oppressed social groups. In response to their challenges, this community voiced the sources of strength they draw from to survive and maintain their spirit.