About us

Our Vision


A world where Trans+ and all gender-diverse people can thrive free from the limitations of gender and intersecting oppressions.


Our Mission


Provide inspiration and hope to Trans+ people and our allies everywhere. Contribute to the development and dissemination of accurate knowledge about Trans+ people. Help to build strong and resilient Trans+ social and cultural communities


Our Commitment


We are committed to applying an intersectional lens in our work to advance reconciliation, racial justice, equity, and inclusion for all.


Dr. Aaron Devor - current Chair in Transgender Studies

devor_little_profile.jpg 
Photo: Blake Little

Dr. Aaron H Devor, PhD, FSSSS, FSTLHE, has been studying and teaching about transgender topics for more than thirty years. He was one of the authors of versions 6 and 7 of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health's (WPATH) Standards of Care, and is now overseeing its translation into world languages.

He is the author of numerous well-cited scholarly articles, and the widely-acclaimed books Gender Blending: Confronting the Limits of Duality (1989) and FTM: Female-to-Male Transsexuals in Society (1997, 2016). His most recent book, The Transgender Archives: Foundations for the Future (2014) was a Lambda Literary Awards finalist in LGBT nonfiction. He has delivered lectures to audiences around the world, including more than 20 keynote and plenary addresses.

He is a national-award-winning teacher, an elected member of the International Academy of Sex Research, and an elected Fellow of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality. Dr. Devor, a trans man, is the Founder and Subject Matter Expert of the world's largest Transgender Archives, a former Dean of Graduate Studies (2002-2012), and a professor of sociology at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, Canada.

Chair in Transgender Studies renewed for a second five-year term

The University of Victoria has approved a second five-years (2021-2025) for the Chair in Transgender Studies and reappointed Aaron Devor to the position. The initial five years were a time of building a first-in-the-world Chair from scratch. The next five years will be devoted to building on our strengths. The Chair, supported by an incredible team, will continue to build the field of Transgender Studies through research, publishing, teaching, mentoring, providing scholarships and fellowships, hosting visiting scholars, educating the public, advising policy makers, producing arts, cultural, and social events, and by organizing and hosting the Moving Trans History Forward conferences. One change that you will see is that, for internal bureaucratic reasons, the University Librarian has decided to retire the Chair’s title as Academic Director of the Transgender Archives. Rest assured, however, that nothing else has changed. Everyone on the Chair’s team will continue to do everything that we did before to make the Transgender Archives the incredible world-class resource that has made all of us proud. We look forward to serving you, growing with you, and enjoying your support over the next five years.

DOWNLOAD CV (PDF)

ORCID

Staff

Michael Radmacher - Administrative Officer 

Michael is a librarian and a member of the queer community who originates from Treaty 4 territory in Saskatchewan.  He relocated to UVic in 2009 to complete his MA in Political Science.  In 2010 he completed his award-winning thesis and joined UVic Libraries where he began volunteering for the Transgender Archives. In 2016, Michael completed his Masters of Library and Information Science degree.

Michael now serves as the Administrative Officer to the Chair in Transgender Studies and works with the Transgender Archives.

Email:


Jaye Watts - Office Assistant 

Jaye received their Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Victoria in 2017, with a major in Sociology and a minor in Technology and Society. They also hold a Diploma in Professional Recording Arts from the Art Institute of Vancouver.

Over the course of their career, Jaye has managed to merge their academic background with their more creative side, enabling them to serve the community by using the arts to bring about meaningful social change. From hosting queer youth open mics, to screening short films in high schools to facilitate dialogue around issues facing the LGBTQ community, Jaye is always looking for ways to reach people on a deeper level.
 

Rachel Hope Cleves

Rachel Hope Cleves is a historian of sexuality, whose work has focused on American history in the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries. Her article, “Six Ways of Looking at a Trans Man? : The Life of Frank Shimer (1826 - 1901)” is forthcoming in the Journal of the History of Sexuality in January 2018. She is also the co-editor, along with Alexie Glover and Scott Larson, of an ongoing trans history series for the history of sexuality blog Notches. Her most recent book, Charity and Sylvia: A Same-Sex Marriage in Early America (2014), won a Stonewall Honor from the American Library Association and was a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award. 


matt heinz

matthew heinz is founding dean of the College of Interdisciplinary Studies and a professor in the School of Communication and Culture whose work focuses on the intersections of language, gender identity, sexual orientation and culture. He examines intercultural and international communication via performative writing, qualitative studies and discourse analysis. He led a community-guided transgender needs assessment for Vancouver Island, which started in 2010. heinz’s work has appeared in The Journal of Pragmatics, Multilingua, Communication Teacher, Journal of Homosexuality, Communication Education, The Journal of International Communication, Communication Studies and the Journal of Cognition and Communication. Originally from Germany, he has lived and worked in North America since the 1980s.

heinz joined Royal Roads in 2006, as an associate professor and director of the School of Communication and Culture. In 2008, he was appointed associate dean of the Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences, before becoming dean in 2011. Prior to Royal Roads, heinz taught at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Bowling Green State University and the University of North Dakota. He also worked as a print journalist in the United States.

heinz earned his PhD in communication studies from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and his MSc in communication studies from Fort Hays State University, where his thesis was selected as most outstanding of 1989. heinz won the Central States Communication Association Outstanding New Teacher Award in 2001. His journalistic work in the U.S. was recognized by more than 20 first- and second-place awards in national and regional competitions.


Nate Lachowsky

Nathan Lachowsky is an Assistant Professor in the School of Public Health and Social Policy at the University of Victoria. Championing interdisciplinary and community-based participatory approaches, he has conducted HIV and sexual health research with gay, bi and queer cis and trans men, including two-spirit indigenous men across Canada and New Zealand.

Nathan's principal area of research focuses on social and behavioural epidemiology and the importance of developing and analyzing quantitative public health data to inform public health practice, health service provision, and policy. While fundamentally trained as an epidemiologist, he conducts interdisciplinary mixed methods research within a social justice framework in order to achieve health equity for marginalized communities. If you are interested in collaborating with Nathan, please contact him at nlachowsky@uvic.ca or (250) 472-5739. 


Annalee Lepp

Annalee Lepp joined UVic Gender Studies in 1993. Recipient of the 2012-13 Harry Hickman Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching

I was trained as an historian and my historical research has focused on Canadian gender, family, and legal history and most specifically the history of marital breakdown and domestic violence in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Canada.
My other main area of research concentrates on trafficking in persons, transnational labour migration, and irregular border movements in the global and especially the Canadian context.

I was a co-founder in 1996 and am the current director of the Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women (GAATW) Canada, a member organization of GAATW whose international secretariat is located in Bangkok. Work in this area has included human trafficking crisis intervention, advocacy, and acting as the principal investigator for a number of funded collaborative research projects on human trafficking and irregular cross-border movements from a human rights perspective.


Lydia Toorenberg

Tansi, my name is Lydia. I am an Otipemisiwak (Cree-Métis person) from my mother's side and a first-generation Dutch immigrant on my father's side. I recently completed my Honours degree in Anthropology at UVic under the supervision of Dr. Alexandrine Boudreault-Fournier with a Minor in Indigenous Studies.

As part of my mission to decolonize and indigenize anthropology that effects Indigenous people, in my Honour's thesis, “Nitawâhtâw” Searching for a Métis Approach to Audio-Visual Anthropology: Cultural, Linguistic, and Ethical Considerations, I explored how audio-visual ethnographic methods could be used in Indigenous research, especially how I could employ them in the context of a Métis epistemology.

With the completion of the ground work, I am ready to bring these methods into practice in my graduate work in order to amplify and prioritize the voices of the community. Dr. Alexandrine Boudreault-Fournier brings a wealth of knowledge in the development and implementation of these anthropological methods while I incorporate Indigenous knowledges and culture. Together, we will be pursuing research concerning health, marginalization, and resilience.


Alivia Wang

I am Alivia (she/her), trans woman and started my transition here at UVic. I am currently a staff at the Department of Chemistry supporting first and second year teaching labs. Before taking my current position, I was a graduate student in Chemistry, and before that completed a BSc (Honours), also in Chemistry. I am also a convocation senator. I have received a research student scholarship from the Chair in Transgender Studies in 2019.


Hope Warren

Hope is an artist, and aspiring full stack web developer with a passion for Trans history and community development.

 


Margot Wilson

Margo Wilson is a cultural anthropologist interested in culture change, international development and planned change. Her early research has focused primarily on Bangladesh but she's spent a considerable amount of time in India.

Margo is interested in how fieldwork and anthropological methodologies provide insights into the ways people live their lives. She is committed to experiential learning for students and have directed a number of student summer field schools in India and Southeast Asia.

Margo's research has focused on women's work in homestead gardens, stigmatization of leprosy patients and abandonment of women and children in Bangladesh. She's published two articles recently on cultural constructions of group identity among the Rajbanshi of Bangladesh and Dalit Muslims in India. Margo is interested in women's narratives and the ways in which women represent their lived experiences, especially through letters. Most recently, her interests in gender and narrative have come together in a project focused on life histories of transgender elders.

 


Yahlnaaw

Yahlnaaw (she/her), EQHR Indigenous Rights and Anti-Racism Officer: I work to accelerate transformation of the university’s systems, policies, and cultures towards practices of inclusion, respect, anti-oppression, and decolonization through education and direct-action. In collaboration with other involved persons and offices, I develop and facilitate delivery of training and programs that increase understanding of, commitment to, and action on the university’s human rights, equity, anti-oppression, and decolonization goals.

As a Skidegate Haida, Queer, Transgender woman, I find it central to ensure intersectional epistemologies (ways of knowing), ontologies (ways of being), and axiology (values) are held as central in my work.

Rachel Hope Cleves

Rachel Hope Cleves is a historian of sexuality, whose work has focused on American history in the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries. Her article, “Six Ways of Looking at a Trans Man? : The Life of Frank Shimer (1826 - 1901)” is forthcoming in the Journal of the History of Sexuality in January 2018. She is also the co-editor, along with Alexie Glover and Scott Larson, of an ongoing trans history series for the history of sexuality blog Notches. Her most recent book, Charity and Sylvia: A Same-Sex Marriage in Early America (2014), won a Stonewall Honor from the American Library Association and was a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award. 


matt heinz

matthew heinz is founding dean of the College of Interdisciplinary Studies and a professor in the School of Communication and Culture whose work focuses on the intersections of language, gender identity, sexual orientation and culture. He examines intercultural and international communication via performative writing, qualitative studies and discourse analysis. He led a community-guided transgender needs assessment for Vancouver Island, which started in 2010. heinz’s work has appeared in The Journal of Pragmatics, Multilingua, Communication Teacher, Journal of Homosexuality, Communication Education, The Journal of International Communication, Communication Studies and the Journal of Cognition and Communication. Originally from Germany, he has lived and worked in North America since the 1980s.

heinz joined Royal Roads in 2006, as an associate professor and director of the School of Communication and Culture. In 2008, he was appointed associate dean of the Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences, before becoming dean in 2011. Prior to Royal Roads, heinz taught at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Bowling Green State University and the University of North Dakota. He also worked as a print journalist in the United States.

heinz earned his PhD in communication studies from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and his MSc in communication studies from Fort Hays State University, where his thesis was selected as most outstanding of 1989. heinz won the Central States Communication Association Outstanding New Teacher Award in 2001. His journalistic work in the U.S. was recognized by more than 20 first- and second-place awards in national and regional competitions.


Annalee Lepp

Annalee Lepp joined UVic Gender Studies in 1993. Recipient of the 2012-13 Harry Hickman Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching

I was trained as an historian and my historical research has focused on Canadian gender, family, and legal history and most specifically the history of marital breakdown and domestic violence in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Canada.
My other main area of research concentrates on trafficking in persons, transnational labour migration, and irregular border movements in the global and especially the Canadian context.

I was a co-founder in 1996 and am the current director of the Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women (GAATW) Canada, a member organization of GAATW whose international secretariat is located in Bangkok. Work in this area has included human trafficking crisis intervention, advocacy, and acting as the principal investigator for a number of funded collaborative research projects on human trafficking and irregular cross-border movements from a human rights perspective.


Saylesh Wesley

 


Lara Wilson

As University Archivist and Director of Special Collections, I can direct you to information about our rare books and periodicals, manuscripts, archival records (historical documents, photographs, films, and other audio visual recordings) and special collections (primary source materials collected on specific subject).

Special Collections and University Archives acquires a diverse range of materials, in support of teaching and research:

Private archives of individuals and organizations in the subject areas of anarchism, architecture, arts and culture (visual arts, performing arts), Asian Canadian history, environmental studies, environmentalism, modernist literature, military history, South Vancouver Island history and political affairs, transgender studies, and women's studies; University of Victoria, Victoria College and Provincial Normal School historical records; archives of individuals and organizations from the University community.

Our rare print holdings include internationally recognized holdings in Modernist British, American and Anglo-Irish literature. Other subject areas collected include Canadian military history; early 20th century literary magazines; Northwest exploration, ethnology, art and anthropology; and regional and Southern Vancouver Island authors and literary culture. Special Collections also houses the Seghers Collection, which consists of approximately 4,000 books on Catholic theology and church history, canon law, liturgy and ritual, canonization and monasticism.


Janni Aragon

Dr. Janni Aragon (BA/MA San Diego State University, MA/PhD UC Riverside) is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in Political Science at the University of Victoria. She has taught courses on American Politics, Political Theory, Gender and Politics, Feminist Theory, Gender and International Relations, Model United Nations Simulation, Internship in Political Science, as well as numerous Women's Studies courses at the University of Victoria and San Diego State University. Her research interests include: Gender and Politics, American Politics, Women and Technology, Third Wave Feminisms, Social Movements, and Transnational Feminism. She has been published in New Political Science, Women's Studies Quarterly, and the International Journal of Media and Cultural Politics. She is currently working on a project focused on pedagogy, popular culture, and technology entitled, "Feminist Pedagogical Border Crossing: Using Popular Culture to Teach Globalization to the 'Net Gen.'"

Dr. Aragon was the 2011-13 Chair of the Academic Women’s Caucus at UVic. In this capacity, Aragon represents all women faculty and librarians at all equity, diversity, and human rights meetings. She also sits on the Senate in the Learning and Teaching Committee. She also served as the 2010-11 President of the Caucus for Women and Gender Justice for the Western Political Science Association (WPSA). She has served as the Chair of the Gender and Politics section and Teaching, Research, and Professional Development section of regional political science associations. Dr. Aragon and Dr. Kathleen Jones co-coordinated the Feminist Theory Conference at the WPSA in 2009.

You can find Dr. Aragon on Twitter via @janniaragon. In 2012 she won a West Coast Social Media Award: Best Use of Twitter. She was also nominated in other categories: Most Inspiring and Community Builder.


Lindsay Herriot

Dr. Lindsay Herriot is a full-time inclusion/special education teacher in the Greater Victoria School District. She also works at the University of Victoria in several capacities, as an adjunct/sessional professor in both the Faculty of Education and School of Child and Youth Care and as a fellow at the Centre for Studies in Religion and Society. A cisgender, bisexual, white settler, Lindsay is originally from unceded Mi'kmaq territory in New Brunswick and is of Acadian, Scottish and Anglo heritage. She now lives on the unceded territory of the Lekwungen Peoples in Victoria, BC, with her spouse and two young children.


Sarah Hunt / Tłaliłila’ogwa

Sarah’s research and teaching center on the political relationalities of coastal peoples; Indigenous justice and self-determination; and Indigenous, decolonial and community-based approaches to research. As an activist-scholar with a long history of collaborating with Indigenous communities, particularly youth, women and 2SQ people, Sarah is committed to centering diverse knowledges that do not fit neatly into disciplinary frames. In this sense her work in Indigenous political ecology is un-disciplined rather than being inter- or trans-disciplinary.

Sarah is Kwakwaka’wakw – Kwagu’ł through her paternal grandfather Chief Henry Hunt, and Dzawada’enuxw through her grandmother Helen Hunt (Nelson) – and is also Ukrainian and English through her maternal grandparents. She has spent most of her life as a guest in Lekwungen territories. Prior to joining UVic, Sarah was an Assistant Professor at UBC for five years in the Institute for Critical Indigenous Studies and Department of Geography.

Building on more than two decades of work on justice, violence, gender, health, and self-determination, Sarah’s current SSHRC-funded research seeks to create new understandings of justice across the nested scales of lands/waters, homes and bodies via engagement of coastal peoples’ embodied knowledge and land-based cultural practice. Indigenous scholars, activists and communities have advanced a deep interrelation between the governance of Indigenous lands and bodies, calling for research into questions of justice that pushes beyond colonial framings to account for these interconnected scales of life. Collaboratively, Sarah is working on a number of initiatives seeking to advance the restoration of Indigenous peoples’ jurisdiction over their lands and lives, with particular focus on the upholding the authority of coastal women.

Sarah has published upwards of 40 journal articles, reports, and book chapters. Her writing has been published in journals such as Geography Compass, Atlantis, The Professional Geographer, and Cultural Geographies, and recently authored or co-authored reports include Access to Justice for Indigenous Adult Victims of Sexual Assault (with Patricia Barkaskas), An Introduction to the Health of Two-Spirit People, and Indigenous Communities and Family Violence: Changing the Conversation (with Cindy Holmes). Her writing can be found in anthologies such as Indigenous Research: Theories, Practices and Relationships; Keetsahnak: Our Missing and Murdered Indigenous Sisters; Determinants of Indigenous Peoples’ Health in Canada, and; The Winter We Danced: Voices from the Past, the Future, and the Idle No More Movement. Sarah is currently on the editorial board of BC Studies and the advisory board of Gateways: International journal of community research and engagement.

In 2014, Sarah was awarded a Governor General’s Gold Medal for her doctoral dissertation and was the 2017 recipient of the Glenda Laws Award for Social Justice from the American Association of Geographers in recognition of her social justice contributions.


Jamey Jesperson

Jamey is a Ph.D. student in the Department of History and the Cultural, Social, and Political Thought Program at the University of Victoria. She is specializing in North American trans histories amidst conquest and settlement, with a focus on the attempted elimination of Two-Spirit Indigenous traditions along the West Coast. Jamey received her MA in Queer History from Goldsmiths College in London and her BA in Global Studies and Gender Studies from The New School in New York. As a white transfeminine settler, Jamey has dedicated many years to political organizing and 2SLGBTQ+ youth advocacy through organizations and coalitions such as the Trans Educators Network, GLSEN, and NYC Stands with Standing Rock.


Lara Wilson

As University Archivist and Director of Special Collections, I can direct you to information about our rare books and periodicals, manuscripts, archival records (historical documents, photographs, films, and other audio visual recordings) and special collections (primary source materials collected on specific subject).

Special Collections and University Archives acquires a diverse range of materials, in support of teaching and research:

Private archives of individuals and organizations in the subject areas of anarchism, architecture, arts and culture (visual arts, performing arts), Asian Canadian history, environmental studies, environmentalism, modernist literature, military history, South Vancouver Island history and political affairs, transgender studies, and women's studies; University of Victoria, Victoria College and Provincial Normal School historical records; archives of individuals and organizations from the University community.

Our rare print holdings include internationally recognized holdings in Modernist British, American and Anglo-Irish literature. Other subject areas collected include Canadian military history; early 20th century literary magazines; Northwest exploration, ethnology, art and anthropology; and regional and Southern Vancouver Island authors and literary culture. Special Collections also houses the Seghers Collection, which consists of approximately 4,000 books on Catholic theology and church history, canon law, liturgy and ritual, canonization and monasticism.


ChrŸs Tei

ChrŸs Tei is the Executive Director at Rainbow Health Co-operative, BC’s largest trans owned organization, and manages XQQ Cross Queer Quarterly. She is a social entrepreneur building wellness in the GNC and trans community.


Wren Hawke

Chase Joynt

Chase Joynt is a moving-image artist and writer whose films have won jury and audience awards internationally. His latest short film, Framing Agnes, premiered at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival, won the Audience Award at Outfest in Los Angeles, and is being developed into a feature film with support from Telefilm Canada’s Talent to Watch program. With Aisling Chin-Yee, Chase is co-directing No Ordinary Man, a feature-length documentary about jazz musician Billy Tipton, which was presented at Cannes Docs 2020 as part of the Canadian Showcase of Docs-in-Progress. Joynt’s first book You Only Live Twice (co-authored with Mike Hoolboom) was a 2017 Lambda Literary Award Finalist and named one of the best books of the year by the Globe and Mail and CBC. His second book, Conceptualizing Agnes (co-authored with Kristen Schilt), is under contract with Duke University Press.


Ali Blythe

Ali Blythe is the author of two critically acclaimed books exploring trans-poetics: the debut collection, Twoism, and the follow-up, Hymnswitch.

His poems are published in literary journals and anthologies in Canada, England, Germany and Slovenia. He is the winner of the Vallum Award for Poetry, twice finalist for the Dorothy Livesay BC Book Award, and recipient of an honour of distinction from the Writers Trust of Canada for emerging LGBTQ writers. He lives in Victoria, BC.


Mo Bradley

Award-winning filmmaker, Mo Bradley, has created over fifty short films that have screened at festivals around the globe. Bradley’s first feature, Two 4 One, won the Best Canadian Film Award at the Victoria Film Festival and the Audience Award at the Available Light Film Festival in the Yukon. Two 4 One took home the audience award at Translations, Seattle's transgender film festival. The film’s lead actor, Gavin Crawford, won the 2015 ACTRA-TO Award for Outstanding Performance—Male for his portrayal of transgender hero, Adam. Veteran BC Actor, Gabrielle Rose, won a Leo Award for Best Supporting Performance for her role in the film. Two 4 One has screened at dozens of festivals around the globe and is available internationally on iTunes and Google Play in seven languages. Mo has received two major technology infrastructure grants from Canada Foundation for Innovation and regularly sits on juries with the Canada Council for the Arts and BC Arts Council. In 1992, Bradley reached their largest audience of 10 million on the CBC youth TV series, Road Movies. Long before Ellen DeGeneres came out on TV , Bradley beat her to it on CBC's Road Movies. Mo is currently in development with a number of trans-themed films and TV series. Bradley is Associate Professor in the Department of Writing, teaching screenwriting and film production.


Griffin Nesbit

Griffin Nesbitt (he/him) is a transmasculine gender studies major who lives on the unceded land of the Lekwungen & Songhees people.

In his spare time, he enjoys visiting book boxes around his neighbourhood, making all kinds of art, and being squished by his large cat, Pippa. Griffin works as a volunteer with the Archives.


Hope Warren

Hope is an artist, and aspiring full stack web developer with a passion for Trans history and community development.


Cindy Holmes

Cindy Holmes is an Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work with over 25 years experience in community-based health and social work. Her community-engaged scholarship and teaching is informed by anti-racist and decolonial feminist, queer and trans theories and social justice movements. For the past 3 years, she has worked collaboratively with a group of trans, Two-Spirit and gender nonconforming co-researchers exploring connections between safety, wellbeing, belonging and place through the use of Photovoice methodology — a participatory action research approach using photography, storytelling and social action (MSFHR-funded). Cindy is a member of various research teams including: three projects focused on the health and wellbeing of trans and gender diverse children, youth and their parents; and the Canadian Coalition Against LGBTQ+ Poverty (CCALP) focused on developing a national research agenda to address gaps in knowledge about poverty and health for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, Two-Spirit, and queer people.