An exploration into the uses and gratifications of media for transgender individuals.

Transgender individuals, those whose gender presentation diverges from their biological sex, encounter unique obstacles to identity development and socialization. The present study examines how transgender individuals use both traditional and emerging media to better understand their own gender identities and their social worlds. A constructivist approach to the uses and gratifications perspective motivated interview questions about the role of media in the lives of transgender individuals. Forty-one transgender individuals participated in semistructured interviews. Results suggested media were instrumental for sensemaking. Participants used media to make sense of feelings, sexual relations, community, and transition options. Participants also used media to meet nonmediated goals or to initiate interpersonal negotiations. The potential impact of media on transgender audiences and the limitations of the uses and gratifications perspective are discussed in light of the findings. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved)