"It's your word against mine": a case study of gender negotiation in a Spanish school

Sofia Pereira-Garcia, José Devís-Devís, Fulgencio Villescas Vivancos, Yvette Taylor

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Although a number of laws, protocols and plans have been passed in Spain in the last 10 years to support gender diversity in education, they still have not been fully implemented in schools. In this paper we describe the case of Arturo, a trans boy, and the various negotiations he went through in his secondary school for 2 years. We used a thematic analysis to identify the negotiations involving educational staff, teachers and students based on 6 themes: (a) naming; (b) compliance with trans students’ rights; (c) toilets and changing rooms; (d) physical activities; (e) gender disclosure; and (f) privileges. These experiences include the different micro and macroaggressions Arturo suffered at school. On the positive we describe various trans students' inclusion strategies in this context, highlighting the social workers' role in building inclusive and respectful spaces for this minority group. Inclusive strategies can help to create more positive experiences for trans students and help to expand even the current queer restrictive gender narratives circulating in schools.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
JournalChild and Adolescent Social Work Journal
Early online date11 Dec 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 Dec 2023


  • trans
  • education
  • inclusion
  • case study
  • Spain


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