Discovering Gender Identity in the Digital Age: Using Virtual Reality as a Gender Affirming Therapeutic tool for Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Young Adults



Kane, Stephanie

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When playing games and surfing the internet, anyone can take on any identity they choose. The concept of the internet and custom avatars being used by transgender people has been a concept since the early 1990’s with Caitlin Sullivan and Kate Bornstein’s novel Nearly Roadkill. The evolution of identity and gender exploration using technology only seems natural when considering these roots. Virtual Reality offers the extended benefit of presence. By using the brain’s concept of body ownership in the virtual world afforded by this technology, with special attention paid to new methods of gender affirming therapy, we can continue to give transgender and gender non-conforming individuals a chance to explore their new gender and identity in a safe, non-judgmental, guided way, and helping questioning individuals to discover their desired identity through using a more kinesthetic methodology.



Transgender, Gender affirming, Serious game, Virtual reality