Intimate relationship strengths and challenges amongst a sample of transgender people living in the United States

Kimberly A. Fuller, Damien W. Riggs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Many transgender people enjoy positive intimate relationships, however such relationships exist within a context of broader discrimination, specifically cisgenderism. The present study sought to investigate the relationships between demographic variables, significant other support, relationship satisfaction, resiliency, past relationship experiences and future relationship expectations, and gender-related discrimination amongst a convenience sample of transgender people living in the United States. 345 participants completed an online questionnaire designed by the authors assessing psychological distress, relationships with partners, and partner support. Findings suggest that participants had some difficulties in negotiating past relationships, though remained hopeful about future relationships. This was especially true for those who lived with animal companions and who reported higher levels of resiliency. Participants currently in relationships reported relatively high levels of significant other support (and this was especially true for participants in relationships with other transgender people), and such support was related to lower levels of psychological distress, though this was less true for older and/or agender participants. Participants were on average satisfied with their current relationships, though this was particularly true for participants with higher incomes. The paper concludes by discussing the implications of the findings for clinicians who work with transgender people and their partners.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)399-412
Number of pages14
JournalSexual and Relationship Therapy
Issue number4
Early online date23 Oct 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • animal companions
  • discrimination
  • Intimate relationships
  • psychological distress
  • relationship satisfaction
  • transgender people


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