The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 3 - 65

The Impact of the Gender Binary in Campus Housing

Although much media attention
focuses on facilities issues for trans
people such as bathrooms, Ishmael
and Taylor never discussed facilities.
Rather, their issues related to
transitioning were primarily about
the inter- and intrapersonal and
how roommates and guests treated
them (Ishmael) and issues of selfidentification (Taylor).

study from a trans-affirmative, non-deficit approach, using Hale's (1997) suggested rules on
research with and about trans people with the
hope this study leads universities and housing
and residence life units to move beyond best
practices to structural changes that affirm all
genders (Nicolazzo et al., 2018).

Participant Recruitment
We recruited participants through a mix of purposeful and chain sampling (Creswell, 2012) at
a large research-intensive university and one of
its affiliate campuses in the southeastern United
States. The term affiliate campuses refers to two
universities in different cities that share a governing body. We recruited Taylor, a 20-year-old
White trans man in his senior year, through a
previously established relationship between one
of the members of our research team and the
university's trans student organization. We recruited Ishmael, a 19-year-old White trans man
in his sophomore year through recruitment

flyers posted on campus. Names are pseudonyms chosen or approved by participants.

Method
We decided narrative inquiry best allowed participants to express their experiences in their
own words (Josselson, 2011). With this approach, trans collegians can present counter
narratives to dominant marginalizing and
stigmatizing narratives. We conducted semistructured interviews within a modification of
McAdam's (2008) life story interview protocol,
an interview protocol that asks participants to
discuss their entire life story and significant
events, people, and experiences during their
life course for the initial sessions and encouraged participants to direct conversations
however they wished. This method allowed
us to adjust questions and probe as each participant shared their experiences and perspectives while also placing their stories within the
larger contexts of their lives. Using semi-structured and life story protocols provided participants the ability to share their stories more
openly and freely (dickey, Hendricks, & Bockting, 2016), while also allowing us to place
their experiences within a larger cultural and
social discourse (Andrews, Sclater, Squire, &
Tamboukou, 2004). Asking participants about
their entire life span rather than just college
and inviting participants to tell their story their
own way reflected our ethical and theoretical
commitments. Those commitments include
not focusing on participants' bodies as central
to transitioning and allowing participants to
emphasize aspects of story and transition they
consider most important. We conducted two
to three in-depth interviews with each participant, lasting between 45 minutes and two
hours. Conducting multiple sessions enabled

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The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 3

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 3

Contents
The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 3 - Intro
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