Grant Anderson

  • PhD Candidate


Room 521, East Quadrangle, GES, University of Glasgow

Research Title

A geographical account of non-conforming gender in Scotland

Summary of research

Research on geographies of sexuality, gender and identity has recently been ‘queered’ in many directions (Browne et al, 2007), but attention to the spaces of those 'in-between' identities is still somewhat limited. My PhD research focusses on the everyday experiences and geographies of non-conforming gender identities and expressions in Scotland, set within distinctively Scottish cultural histories of gender non-conformity. Transgender geographies are a growing field of enquiry (Hines, 2010; Nash, 2010) which have, until now, focussed primarily on the embodied experiences of binary transgender people (transmen and transwomen) and the ‘queer spaces’ that they occupy at a variety of scales. However, little research has been undertaken with those people who do not sit within the conceptualised gender binary, and who do not necessarily see themselves as wishing to transition ‘completely’ from one gender pole to the other. Creating academic space for those individuals who occupy a centre ground, problematically situating themselves between or removed from the gender binary, is a central tenet of this research; one with the potential to contribute something significant and novel to queer geographies of gender and sexuality. 

Firstly, by using archival material, my thesis will give an in-depth context to gender non-conformity in Scotland, focussing on the ways that the kilt and the Scottish Pantomime can be used to unearth a nuanced and Scotland-specfic history of gender transgression. Following this I use in-depth qualitative materiel, to look at at the range of different non-conforming gender identities which are present in Scotland, focussing on the infinate ways that gender identity and expression are explored in order to reject, merge or play with the taken-for-granted stability of the gender binary. I consider how the gender binary and gendered space are negotiated by non-conforming participants and give detailed accounts of the ways that space can be created to reject the stability of the male-female gender binary.


  • Scottish Gradual School of Social Science, Overseas Institutional Visit award, £4660
  • GES Conference Support Fund, £300
  • Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Studentship via the 'Human Geography' Pathway, 2015-2018
  • Urban Studies Foundation Tuition Fees-paid Scholarship for the MRes in Human Geography 2014-2015, £5350
  • South of Scotland Youth Awards Trust financial award 2014, £250

Oral Histories and ‘progressive futures’: changing regulation of gay public sex spaces in Glasgow, presented at 'Places that Progress Symposium', University of Brighton. March 2016

Exploring contested non-binary genders and (pan)sexualities through the University LGBT society, presented at IV European Geographies of Sexualities Conference, Barcelona, September 2017

  • Geography Level 1 Lab Demonstrator, 2015-2016
  • Geography Level 2 Lab Deomonstrator, 2016
  • Geography Level 1 Tutor, 2016-2017
  • Geography Level 2 Lab Demonstrator, 2017