Gender Transition on Social Networking Sites

October 1st, 2014  |  Published in Projects

Research Team: Oliver L. Haimson, Jed R. Brubaker, Lynn Dombrowski, Gillian R. Hayes

Social networking sites (SNS) often privilege people who fit within expected, static categories. Thus, designing technology and SNS flexible enough to allow for representation of complex identities that emerge as people embark on major life transitions, such as changing gender, is a particular challenge for HCI. Because little is known about how transgender people navigate gender transition on social networking sites, this work seeks to understand challenges and opportunities related to this experience. Examining the relationships between issues including self-presentation, stress, disclosure, and support on SNSs for these particular users can inform technology design that will benefit people who struggle with navigating a wide range of major identity changes online.


Haimson, O. L., Brubaker, J. R., Dombrowski, L. & Hayes, G. R. Disclosure, Stress, and Support During Gender Transition on Facebook. Proceedings of ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing 2015.

Haimson, O. L., & Hayes, G. R. Understanding Gender Transition on Social Media to Design Technology for Changing Identities. CHI 2014 Workshop on Designing Technology for Major Life Events.

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