Author ORCID Identifier

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Katie Acosta

Second Advisor

Wendy Simonds

Third Advisor

Maura Ryan


Gender operates as a currency of exchange between bodies through sexuality. Ward (2010) notes that “all genders demand work” to be produced and maintained through performances of gender, sexuality, and solidarity. This labor is illustrated in previous research, though, from a non-intersectional perspective of cis femmes in relationships with trans men and/or transmasculine partners. I expand Ward’s concept of “gender labor” to include trans-situated gender labor, or the work trans/nonbinary individuals perform to “give” (cis)gender. In addition, I conceptualize “pre-emptive labor,” or the labor performed prior to intimate encounters and relationships, which functions to protect trans/nonbinary individuals in addition to the structure of cissexism/whiteness. I examine the ways accountability to gender regimes functions for trans/nonbinary people within intimate relationships and encounters. Utilizing photo elicitation and in-depth interviews, I ask how trans/nonbinary people negotiate their gender/race within intimate relationships and how gender negotiations are inherently racialized processes.


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