Between ally, partner & parent: Role ambiguity and role conflict among partners of trans individuals

Myrte Dierckx

University of Antwerp

Myrte Dierckx obtained a master in Sociology at the University of Antwerp and works since 2013 as an academic researcher at the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Antwerp. She has worked on different projects within the context of the Policy Research Centre on Equality Policies. The scope of her research is family processes and changing gender roles and norms.


The social and family environment in which a gender transition takes place has often been overlooked both in trans studies and in family studies. Regarding relationships, the existing research observed that coming out as trans... [ view full abstract ]


In the context of the increased visibility of the trans population in Flanders in recent years, the current article aims to address the knowledge gap concerning partners of trans individuals by considering their experiences... [ view full abstract ]


Open, in-depth interviews were conducted using a topic list drawn up on the basis of a literature review. In total, 17 partners have been interviewed, all living in Flanders, Belgium. One respondent identified as male, all... [ view full abstract ]

Main Outcome Measures

First, we distinguished the different roles that partners play during the transition, and examined how these different roles might come under pressure through the gender transition process of their partner. Second, we... [ view full abstract ]


We distinguished three different roles of partners during the transition of their partner: the parental role, the ally role and the romantic partner role. We found that ambiguity was most apparent for the romantic partner... [ view full abstract ]


The article presented here aimed to go beyond earlier findings of partners of trans individuals, which were often rather descriptive. In this way we have deepend the knowledge on trans partnerships within a broader family... [ view full abstract ]


  1. Myrte Dierckx (University of Antwerp)
  2. Dimitri Mortelmans (University of Antwerp)
  3. Joz Motmans (Ghent University Hospital, Center for Sexology and Gender)

Topic Area

Oral & Poster Topics: Social sciences


OS-2D » Social Sciences II: Transgender Families (11:00 - Friday, 7th April, Mediterranean)

Presentation Files

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