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Publication Date

Spring 2017

Degree Type

Thesis - Campus Access Only

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Tamar Z. Semerjian


Athlete, Autophenomenography, Exercise, FTM, Gender, Transgender

Subject Areas

Kinesiology; Psychobiology; Gender studies


Sport has traditionally been a space where transgender bodies could not participate with members of their identified gender. However, recent policy changes have fostered transgender inclusion as many transgender people seek equality and inclusion in different areas of society. Despite the recent transgender emergence and inclusion policies, studies on the embodied experience of transgender individuals, especially athletes, is limited due to small sample sizes. Authophenomenography has proven to be a valuable method when researching an embodied experience and is especially useful in studying a population with a low sample size. Thus, this study uses autophenomenography to examine the embodied experience of a female-to-male transgender person while undergoing hormone replacement therapy, top surgery and exercising to present in society as male. The data are presented in vignettes that capture the embodied experience, both in society and during exercise, in different stages of the transition. Videos, journals and pictures are used to document the experience and changes. In analyzing the data, one major theme emerged; contrary to the transgender stories that dominate the headlines, I embrace gender binary within society. A hegemonic masculine presentation, enabled by transitioning and exercise, allows me to be stealth in society and comfortable in my own skin.