On the Mathematical Narration by Trans-Spectrum University Students
More than 80 years of literature support the idea that math attitudes and experiences differ by gender. However, such research treats gender as a simple and dichotomous variable, which it is not. As such, our understandings of math affective variables are completely dominated by a cisgender narrative and a false gender binary. In particular, I argue that it is important to research the lived experiences in the math classroom and the sense of belonging felt by trans-spectrum students. This qualitative study has employed a narrative methodology to analyze the semi-structured interviews of 6 participants who identify as trans-spectrum university students in order to explore the tactile lived experiences in the math classroom as it relates to gender, when gender is considered holistically. Overall, the participants indicated that while mathematics as a discipline is not gender-specific, the participants face discrimination and microaggressions around mathematics that help create a chilly atmosphere. The participants, then, narrate their sense of belonging in regard to a separation between mathematics as a discipline and mathematical activities. Collectively, all participants presented stories that highlight conflicts within various social binaries, such as male/female or private/public school.