Degree Name

MALS (Master of Arts in Liberal Studies)


Liberal Studies

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Marie Tedesco

Committee Members

Jill LeRoy-Frazier, Andrew Dotterweich


Transgender athletes face scrutiny because they do not fit within the traditional and constructed bounds of male and female. The objective of this study was to discover how to provide advocacy to this marginalized population amidst discriminating policies and transphobic environments. The research included a survey of high school coaches from thirty schools throughout Tennessee along with interviews with five transgender athletes from across the United States. All five athletes reported that leaders were the most impactful allies in their lives and can be the main sources of advocacy for transgender athletes. Survey findings showed that not every coach throughout Tennessee will accept transgender athletes but in each region of Tennessee some coaches claimed to support and would resist discriminatory policies. Leaders have the opportunity to pave the way for transgender athletes by providing advocacy and amplifying the voices of transgender athletes.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.