Content warning: trans experiences of disordered eating, invitation to interview

Over the past year I’ve been working on research with a number of trans people with disordered eating. People have shared intimate and powerful moments with me, as well as everyday and light-hearted ones.

I haven’t found any neat answers – this project isn’t about that. It is about the messy ways that people feel their way through. The research is speaking to the real power of people’s relationships with food and eating, with their bodies, and with other people.

I have received stories of disordered eating as a way to stay alive when life feels unbearable. Or as a way of moving through a hostile and violent world. A way of creating comfort in a body that has been alienated. A way of holding guilt about taking up space. And so much more.

These truths speak back to previous research, which mostly claimed that cis beauty norms are the start and end of trans people’s experiences with disordered eating.

With my doctorate research in the final stages, I’m feeling the power of these stories. I’m grateful, and I’m exhausted by the relentless media (though I’m not its target).

I’m also still listening and would love to hear from you if you have questions of your own, or insights to share. To participate you should be 18+, UK-based, trans, and have disordered eating. You don’t need any kind of medical diagnosis – it’s up to you to describe your eating as disordered, and it might be less difficult now than it has been in the past.

You are welcome to to get in touch or email me at jessica.sandelson@gtc.ox.ac.uk, and we can think together about how best to talk more.