Renaming, Reclaiming, Renewing the Self: Intersections of Gender, Identity, and Health Care

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Abstract

This is an autoethnographic account of seeking double mastectomy as a sexual minority due to advanced fibrocystic scarring. Using social construction, feminist, and ambiguous loss theories, themes of the concept of belonging, challenges of health care systems, reconstruction of identity, and responses of others depict the transformative process of gender identity and sense of self. Discussion of the role of resiliency and ambiguity are addressed, as well as ambivalence, and managing external stressors. Recommendations for social work education and practice include advancing sensitivity and competency on gender identity/expression and advocacy role in challenging the gender binary.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-110
Number of pages6
JournalAffilia - Journal of Women and Social Work
Volume29
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2014

Keywords

  • ambiguity
  • gender binary
  • gender identity
  • mastectomy
  • resiliency
  • sexual minority

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