Annie DeRolf, OTD, OTR; Johnna Belkiewitz, OTD Candidate; Sally Wasmuth, PhD, OTR
The current predominant view of gender as binary, alongside limited training of affirmative care practices, is severely and negatively impacting transgender and gender diverse (TGD) people. This paper urges the re-conceptualization of gender as an occupation, suggesting that gender is a doing that allows for positive identity development, roles, habits, and routines. Doing gender facilitates meaning-making and the ability to engage in other occupations. However, occupational injustices rooted in discrimination, stigma, and/or implicit biases impede TGD people’s ability to engage in the doing of gender and other occupations. Articulation of conceptual guidelines and interventions to support TGD people’s ability to do gender and other occupations is a critical area of need in occupational therapy literature and practice. In accordance with the profession’s ethical mandate to promote occupational justice, it is critical that occupational therapists become educated and involved in providing affirmative services to support occupational participation for this population.
DeRolf, A., Belkiewitz, J., & Wasmuth, S. (2023). Gender as Occupation: The "Doing" of Authentic Expression and Reciprocally Affirming Care for Transgender Individuals. The Open Journal of Occupational Therapy, 11(4), 1-6. https://doi.org/10.15453/2168-6408.2116