Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

Erica L. Lizano


Society’s current focus on the transgender community is complicated, and further heightened by the lack of protections for the transgender community. Current studies only assess the hardships transgender individuals face and the impact they have on their well-being. This study sought to explore what effects the lack of resources and support have on the transgender community in the Inland Empire. This study utilized a qualitative approach incorporating semi-structured interviews of participants. The author also sought to explore how the transgender community in this area are able to mitigate any negative experiences. The qualitative data provided rich grounding in understanding the process by which these two factors are linked. Such that, the lack of resources or access to available resources contributed to distress and delayed transgender identification and transitioning. The contribution of the study is important because of the stigmas associated with being a member of the transgender community. The author contends that this research contributes to providing a better understanding of why these stigmas exist and how social services can alleviate and provide equitable and competent resources for the transgender community in the Inland Empire. The major themes derived from the data were separated by access to resources, finding community, in-group discrimination, lack of competence, risking vulnerability, sense of self, social support, and visibility. Sub-themes included: asserting gender, dysphoria, machismo, and socio-economic climate.