Privacy at the Margins| Not the Normal Trans Story: Negotiating Trans Narratives While Crowdfunding at the Margins

Niki Fritz, Amy Gonzales


This study reports findings from in-depth semistructured interviews with 20 transgender-identifying individuals to understand how they negotiate privacy while crowdfunding to finance top surgery. Participants expressed privacy concerns about the body becoming public and fears of being criticized or attacked. Crowdfunding also necessitated a discussion of the fact that participants had breasts, which was distressing to some. Despite all of this, most participants embraced the crowdfunding experience as an opportunity to share their stories and to reject what they viewed as the normal trans narrative as too narrow. Findings suggest an intensification of privacy calculus theory as it applies to individuals from marginalized communities: Perceived costs and benefits of online disclosure may be greater when publicizing an identity that is often subject to attack. In addition to privacy calculus theory, we use the identity shift framework and taxonomies of privacy to explore tensions between publicness, privacy, self-expression, and support.


trans, crowdfunding, social media, privacy, privacy calculus, identity, identity shift, trans narrative

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