Navigating Microaggressions, Overt Discrimination, and Institutional Oppression: Transgender and Gender Nonconforming People and the Criminal Justice System
The purpose of this chapter is to uncover how transgender and gender nonconforming (TGNC) people perceive and experience the criminal justice (CJ) system. The chapter focuses primarily on the types of discrimination and bias TGNC encounter and how those experiences impact their perceptions and interactions with different sectors of the CJ system. Over the past ten years, multiple scholars have described the various microaggressions faced by LGBTQ people, as well as the negative impact of these microaggressions on LGBTQ people’s mental health. Findings from this qualitative study (N = 11) affirm that TGNC people are highly marginalized and are systemically discriminated against. Results point to the need for transgender-affirmative competency training programs for police officers and other liaisons of the legal system.
Funding for this study was provided by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice Office for the Advancement of Research.
- Bronski, M. (2011). A Queer History of the United States. Boston: Beacon Press.Google Scholar
- D’Emilio, J. (2014). Making Trouble: Essays on Gay History, Politics, and the University. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Fiani, C. N., Nadal, K. L., Han, H., Mejia, D., Deutsch, T., & Murillo, M. (2017). A system of transphobic injustice: Microaggressions toward transgender and gender nonconforming people in the criminal justice system. New York State Psychologist, 29, 5–15.Google Scholar
- Grant, J. M., Mottet, L., Tanis, J. E., Harrison, J., Herman, J., & Keisling, M. (2011). Injustice at Every Turn: A Report of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey. Washington, DC: National Center for Transgender Equality.Google Scholar
- Hill, C. E., Thompson, B. J., & Williams, E. N. (1997). A Guide to conducting consensual qualitative research. The Counseling Psychologist, 25, 517–572.Google Scholar
- Krueger, R. A., & Casey, M. A. (2014). Focus Groups: A Practical Guide for Applied Research. Sage Publications.Google Scholar
- Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558. (U.S. June 26, 2003). Retrieved January 14, 2016, from https://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/02-102.ZS.html.
- Nadal, K. L., Rivera, D. P., & Corpus, M. J. H. (2010). Sexual orientation and transgender microaggressions in everyday life: Experiences of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgender individuals. In D. W. Sue (Ed.), Microaggressions and Marginality: Manifestation, Dynamics, and Impact (pp. 217–240). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
- Nadal, K. L., Quintanilla, A., Goswick, A., & Sriken, J. (2015). Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer people’s perceptions of the criminal justice system: Implications for social services. Journal of Gay & Lesbian Social Services, 27, 457–481.Google Scholar
- Nadal, K. L., Davidoff, K. C., Davis, L. S., Wong, Y., Marshall, D., & McKenzie, V. (2015). A qualitative approach to intersectional microaggressions: Understanding influences of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and religion. Qualitative Psychology, 2, 147–163.Google Scholar
- Tyler, T. R., & Fagan, J. (2008). Legitimacy and cooperation: Why do people help the police fight crime in their communities. Ohio St. Journal of Criminal Law, 6, 231–275.Google Scholar