Date of Award

Summer 8-2020

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program




Major Professor

D'lane Compton

Second Advisor

Jeffery Parker

Third Advisor

David Berris


This thesis is an examination of the role that public spaces and social groups play in the strengthening of the body image and mental health of transgender individuals. Using Minority Stress Theory and the theories of West and Zimmerman concerning “doing” gender, along with Goffman’s theories of gender advertisement and interaction rituals, a discourse can be created on the impact on transgender individuals’ body image and mental health during public health issues that require stay-at-home mandates. When public health issues like COVID-19 occur, transgender people find themselves isolated, creating a potential for heightened issues with body dysphoria, depression, and other mental health issues. Using an online qualitative interview tool and interviews of transgender individuals, insight can be gained on how the lack of public spaces and access to social support groups creates a mental health issue for this group as they are finding themselves forced to stay away from the safe spaces they know. This insight and subsequent discourse can then be used to create helpful options to assist transgender individuals that may find themselves struggling with issues that arise during situations like COVID-19 that require stay-at-home restrictions.


The University of New Orleans and its agents retain the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible this dissertation or thesis in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis or dissertation.