Scholarship & fellowship recipients


Visiting University-Based Fellows


2019 Visiting University-based Fellows



Terence Abrahams

Terrence Abrahams is a MA candidate in the Literatures of Modernity program at Ryerson University. A University of Toronto alumnus and poet, Terrence is currently in the process of completing his major research paper. His research focuses on exploring, examining, and learning more about the distinct forms of poetry and poetics utilized by transgender writers across North America, with a particular interest in writers based in Canada. His aim is to contribute to the ongoing and necessary work of ensuring the creative efforts and contributions of trans writers is allowed space in academic study.

Receiving this scholarship from the Chair of Transgender Studies at UVic will be a great help as I continue what I know will be a research effort I carry on with throughout my academic career and beyond. I am looking forward to utilizing The Transgender Archives in order to broaden my understanding and knowledge of the creative contributions of transgender writers from the past and present, with a look toward the inevitable future of trans writers. I believe the poetry and poetics of trans people make up some of the most exciting and incomparable works being published today, and I want my research to highlight and celebrate their essential efforts.


Gwen Benaway

Gwen Benaway is a trans girl of Anishinaabe and Métis descent. She has published three collections of poetry. She was a finalist for the Dayne Ogilvie Prize for LGBTQ writers from the Writer’s Trust of Canada, the Lambda Literary Award for Trans Poetry, and the Ontario Trillium Book Award for Poetry. She is a Ph.D student at the University of Toronto in the Women and Gender Studies Institute, focusing on transsexual embodiment and liberation. Her work with the Transgender Archive will be a collaborative project with Arielle Twist and Trish Salah.

Receiving the Fellowship is a tremendous opportunity which will support me in my ongoing work towards trans liberation.


Sophie Pezzutto

Sophie Pezzutto is a PhD candidate in Anthropology at the Australian National University. Prior to commencing her PhD, Sophie worked as an accountant and holds degrees in Economics and Asian Studies from the University of Western Australia. Sophie's research is the first ethnographic study of the transgender pornography industry conducted in anthropology. As part of her research, she spent 13 months living in Los Angeles and Las Vegas, participating in trans porn performer's lives. She is particularly interested in how fame and social media shape performers' understandings of self, friendship, privacy, and embodiment and what this can tell us about our lives under 21st century neoliberal digital capitalism.

One of my project’s main challenges has been the transient nature of online pornography which makes it difficult to trace a history of erotic representation of trans people. Receiving this fellowship allows me to spend significant time at the Transgender Archives, looking specifically at the archive’s collection on pre-internet newsprint and glossy pornographic magazines, which will hopefully help provide the project with historical context on the erotic representations of trans people.  Additionally, I am also just really excited to meet other trans advocates and scholars and learn about how they are affecting positive change in academia and beyond. The interdisciplinary nature of transgender studies can offer anthropology students such as myself valuable insights from other sciences especially when many anthropological accounts of gender and sexuality have been inadequate in representing trans experiences of embodiment and intimacy. Specifically, I look forward to exchanging ideas with scholars in gender, science and technology, and media studies.


MT Vallarta

MT Vallarta is a poet and Ph.D. candidate in Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Riverside, studying contemporary queer Filipina/o/x poetry and its role in conducting transformative resistance and futuristic desire that challenge the (hetero)normative regime of U.S. capitalism and colonialism in the Philippines and the Filipina/o/x diaspora. A Kundiman Fellow, MT’s poetry has been published in Nat. Brut, Rabbit Catastrophe Review, Apogee Journal, TAYO Literary Magazine, and others. They are extremely honored to receive this fellowship, and look forward to conducting research at the Chair in Transgender Studies Archive and being a part of UVic’s community of scholars.

As a queer, non-binary, Filipinx/American, I am extremely honored to receive a Visiting Scholar Fellowship to conduct research at the Chair in Transgender Studies Archive. I look forward to contributing to the field of Transgender* Studies, and thank the queer, trans, non-binary, and two-spirited scholars, artists, activists, and workers who made this possible.



2018 Visiting University-based Fellows



Lauren Fried

As I reach the end of my PhD, which is based between the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Royal College of Art, I am excited to take forward part of my doctoral research to produce a publication about trans community histories in the UK.

Receiving this award means I am able to progress with a publication based on my doctoral research about UK-based trans histories using the essential archival holdings at TGA. Sources of funding for the study of LGBTQ+ histories is relatively scarce in the UK, so the TGA’s Research Fellowships for Visiting University-based Scholars and Professionals is a rare and exciting opportunity. I look forward to adding to the ongoing and dynamic conversations about trans histories, and to have support enabling my contribution to this field.


Jonah Garde

Jonah Garde is an activist, community organizer, educator and PhD student in Gender Studies at the University of Bern. In Vienna, they are the co-organizer of the monthly film event trans*screenings X SPACE which aims to feature trans* representations that are marginalized within mainstream media. Their PhD thesis deals with trans* temporalities exploring the entanglements between trans* narratives, medico-legal discourses, history of science, the pharma-industrial complex as well as trans* activisms and cultural productions. They have studied Development Studies at the University of Vienna and their work on Cripping Development has been published by Peter Lang and in the Journal Somatechnics.

Unlike in any other field, time as normative structure is highly visible in classical trans* narratives imagining gender transition as a linear and progressive path from one gender into "the" other. Medico-legal productions of trans* subjectivity rely heavily on notion of stability as well as progress. These narratives are simultaneously called for by gatekeepers and strategically reproduced by trans* people seeking access to medical care or legal recognition. In these cases, time functions as normalizing order and is not the mere effect of power relations, but rather fundamental for their becoming. Time is simultaneously a signifier defining the relation between self and Other and a site of biopolitical in- and exclusions. Based on the critique of colonial narratives of progress, heteronormative and ableist conceptions of time my research project follows multiple sites to trace the colonial, gendered, racialized, ableist, and nationalist underpinnings of trans(chrono)normativity as well as to analyse the ambivalences of temporal normalizations and resistances to conceptualize an intersectional approach to trans* time.

As a Gender and Cultural Studies PhD student the Visiting Fellowship allows me to further my research on trans temporalities and I am immensely grateful for the opportunity to work in the extraordinary archive. As trans* identified scholar, community member and organiser I am especially interested in the history and the structure of the archive itself, as it is my dream to set up a trans*inter* archive in Vienna, as the few existing feminist and queer archives are either not accessible to trans* people or do not consider trans* histories as integral part of their archives. In my view archives are extremely important for our understanding of trans* politics and building communities that are grounded in various histories. Besides following my research interests, the Visiting Fellowship gives me the unique opportunity to meet and connect with other scholars, community members and activists and to continue building transnational networks that are pursuing transfeminist, anti-racist and anti-colonial politics.




Julian Gill-Peterson

Julian Gill-Peterson is Assistant Professor of English and Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies at the University of Pittsburgh. They are the author of Histories of the Transgender Child (University of Minnesota Press, October 2018). 

I am visiting the Transgender Archives to research my current book project, Gender Underground: A History of Trans DIY, which sets out to retell the story of the trans twentieth century by framing it not through institutional medicine, but the myriad do-it-yourself practices of trans people that forged powerful and long-invisible social worlds. Beginning in the 1950s, when most doctors would not provide the medical care requested by trans people, I explore a rich underground tradition that found inventive access to hormones, alternate routes to surgery, and many creative, non-medical forms of care for the self and others, including spiritual practices. DIY is not just the object of the book, but a method of responsible and politically engaged scholarship. 

Visiting the Transgender Archives at UVic is an unmatched chance for me to build, share, and learn from a “DIY trans studies” that affirms the survival and creative world-making of the least visible and enfranchised in our communities: low income, trans of color, and two sprit communities.




Anna M. Kłonkowska

Anna M. Kłonkowska is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Social Sciences, University of Gdansk. She is a sociologist, psychologist, philosopher; her research interests include: transgender studies, men’s studies, sociology of the body. Dr. Kłonkowska facilitates one of the few support groups for transgender people in Poland since 2010 and cooperates with organizations supporting transgender people in Poland. She is a recipient of Fulbright Senior Research Fellowship (Stony Brook University), Kosciuszko Foundation Fellowship (Stony Brook University), Bednarowski Trust Fellowship (University of Aberdeen), Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst Fellowship (Albert-Ludwigs-Universität, Freiburg).

This research addresses in detail the situational experiences and social circumstances of transgender people living in Poland. Based on results arrived at through the author’s research, the paper focuses on a number of accounts by transgender people regarding their social reception and the processes of “normativization” of their identities, as experienced in the interactions with experts who oversee the medical and legal transition related procedures. The arising problems which transgender persons face in these situations is highlighted by the severity of the kinds of social pressure which are placed upon them, most of which is aimed at teaching them to conform accordingly to the normative patterns of masculinity and femininity as commonly acknowledged in Polish society. Non-normative and non-binary identifications in transgender persons are not treated by officials in Poland, as well as by social environment, as authentic expressions of transgender. Consistent with the Foucauldian concept of power-knowledge, this discourse legitimizes a particular idea of the social order and supports particular strategies of normativization. Polish transgender persons’ attitudes to these pressures and their subsequent responses are herein analyzed.

Obtaining The Chair in Transgender Studies Fellowship has a huge significance for my research. It will allow me to study resources for the project on misleads and misunderstandings in trans- and cisgender people’s communication. It will also be an opportunity to meet scholars affiliated with The Transgender Archives, learn about their work experience and share my own research outcomes. I’m convinced that the visit at The Transgender Archives will not only be an important inspiration for my academic work, but for further activism in favour of the transgender community as well.


Kevin Laxamana

Kevin Laxamana is a Master’s student in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Alberta. He is currently writing his thesis on the disrupted life cycles of Singaporean and Balinese transgender women by analyzing their diverse experiences, histories, and stories of transitioning and de- transitioning (in relation to hormone therapies and sexual reassignment surgeries, participation in beauty and/or sex work, religion, romantic and familial relationships, and concepts of national belonging). Kevin completed his ethnographic fieldwork in Singapore and Bali (Indonesia) in partnership with Project X-Singapore and Yayasan Gaya Dewata in the summer of 2017. His research interests broadly include non-normative genders and sexualities, gendered religious performances, intimate partnering models, kinship, queer landscapes and imagined spaces, beauty pageants, Filipino studies, and the anthropology of food.

Personally, it means a lot to me knowing that the world's only Chair in Transgender Studies supports my research.  It would mean so much to the people I'm studying back in Singapore and Indonesia that their stories are recognized and supported by the Chair and the Transgender Archives.


Charles Ledbetter

While biography is perhaps the most visible genre in mainstream trans literature—for example, transition and coming-out narratives—these often frame trans experience through common tropes and stereotypes which reinforce binary gender. Speculative fiction, with its troubling of time, space and selfhood, grants the opportunity for reimagining trans beyond traditional gender categories. Though authors such as Octavia Butler, Ursula K.LeGuin and Anne Leckie have become canonical for their representations of non-binary gender imaginaries, a majority of trans speculative fiction has been published through independent media: zines, self-publishing, digital archives and fanfiction. However, due to the historically ephemeral nature of trans material culture, as well as the continued centrality of corporate publishing in literary criticism as a discipline, this body of literature had received little critical attention. This research explores the history of trans speculative fiction in independent media, their representations of trans worldbuilding and, finally, their parallels and tensions with trans imaginaries in traditionally-published texts.

The preservation of cultural memory is particularly challenging for marginalized communities, as we struggle against hegemonic histories and the day-to-day struggle for survival. My dissertation analyzes trans speculative fiction as a space for reimagining trans selfhood and community beyond binary gender. While non-cisgender characters are becoming more visible in mainstream fiction, for a long time trans people have been exploring these themes in cultural productions, often redefining transness through the supernatural, tehcnological and mythological. University of Victoria’s Transgender Archive Fellowship grants me a vital opportunity to include these texts in the emerging archive of trans fiction for literary criticism and, moreover, to discover new and potentially liberatory frameworks for how trans communities have historically imagined themselves. 


Kyle Shaughnessy

Kyle Shaughnessy is a Two-Spirit, trans person of mixed Indigenous (Dene) and European ancestry. He is a social worker and writer originally from the Northwest Territories and rural BC with a strong background in public speaking, education, community building, and youth advocacy. Kyle is currently completing his MSW at Dalhousie University, focusing his thesis work on Two-Spirit pedagogy, and works at Trans Care BC as the Education Lead for Indigenous Communities and Children, Youth & Families.

Within the growing niche of gender diversity education and inclusivity training, there is an increasing demand for presentations and teaching resources on Two-Spirit history, identity, and overall health. Housing these topics within the realm of “gender diversity education” often means that we are approaching and sharing Two-Spirit knowledge from a westernized framework. This ultimately reifies the notion that Two-Spirit is but one aspect of modern LGBTQ+ communit(ies), as opposed to a concept deeply embedded in the history of many nations, and significantly pre-dates the North American LGBTQ+ movement. Using Indigenous teaching approaches such as humor, and storytelling, this presentation provides an opportunity to reflect on some of the ways we can decolonize our teaching practices, and utilize Indigenous-first methods of talking about Two-Spirit history, identity, and wellness.

Receiving this award is providing me with the opportunity to increase and diversify the representation of trans Two-Spirit artists and educators in my MSW research, specifically those from outside of the Coast Salish region, such as Aiyyana Maracle.



2017 Visiting University-based Fellows



Elias Capello

I am a medical anthropologist who plans on examining materials (pamphlets, original art works, and conference records) in the Transgender Archives to better understand the linguistic patterns of how  transgender people disseminate knowledge about their bodies and health in order to eliminate the gap in medical literature. The linguistic  patterns of how transgender people communicate about their bodies will be compared with the research papers in the archives, to compare the two  knowledge forms. I focus on themes of embodiment, dissemination of knowledge about bodies and health, and resilience.

As an early career Master's student in Anthropology, this award helps me continue my pre-dissertation research as well as make connections with  researchers that share similar interests. In addition to helping my research career, research funded by this award will help design the curriculum for an undergraduate level Transgender and Queer Health Course at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.


Chris Vargas

I am planning to do research for the third iteration of the multi-exhibition series Trans Hirstory in 99 Objects, which will take place in early 2018 at the Legacy Gallery in downtown Victoria, B.C.. Trans Hirstory in 99 Objects is a visual and material exploration of objects that hold significance in narrating the history of transgender communities. It is an extension of the Museum of Transgender Hirstory & Art, my interdisciplinary conceptual art project.

The Chair in Transgender Studies Research Fellowship will help fund my travel to UVic to do research for an exhibition I am organizing at the Legacy Gallery in downtown Victoria, B.C. This award will allow me to spend time researching the trans history and art objects housed in the UVic Transgender Archive that I will then highlight in the exhibition.



Chamindra Weerawardhana

This award is a key step in developing my ongoing book project on Trans identities and parenting. My book develops a Trans woman-of-colour, and most importantly, 'decolonizing' perspective of parenting. Hence the importance of spending some at the Trans Studies Chair at Victoria, a university which is also home to a world-leading First Nations and Indigenous Governance program. I would also like to acknowledge people whose support has been crucial to this project, my family of course, and ILGA, especially ILGA Director Dr Renato Sabbadini, for the opportunity of carrying out a workshop on TransParenting at the 2016 ILGA World Conference in Bangkok. 

I would also like to acknowledge people whose support has been crucial to this project, my family of course, and ILGA, especially ILGA Director Dr Renato Sabbadini, for the opportunity of carrying out a workshop on TransParenting at the 2016 ILGA World Conference in Bangkok.


Community-Based Fellows


2019 Community-based Fellows



Estraven Lupino-Smith

Estraven Lupino-Smith is an artist-researcher, writer and educator whose work is informed by their curiosity and critical engagements with human interactions in their environments: natural, cultural, and constructed. Their interdisciplinary practice investigates issues of political ecology, gender, mythologies, constructions of the wild, and movements for justice and self-determination.

Estraven’s research at the archives will be rooted in a trans ecology framework that asks: In what ways can we think critically about how hetero/cis normativities have shaped and produced perspectives of the so-called natural world? This work will problematize conceptions of nature, and re-envision trans and other non-normative bodies and experiences as part of complex ecologies that are only beginning to be discussed in mainstream science and social science research. This work will counter the way trans bodies have been deemed bestial, monstrous, and undesirable, taking up a critical perspective on the shape-shifting and liminal bodies of trans people as more-than-human. This research will discuss and highlight the history of how trans bodies and trans cultures interrupt set ideas about biological essentialism, and can re-shape the way that ecology, ecosystems, and “the natural order” are perceived and perpetuated.
I am honoured to be granted a Fellowship from the Chair in Transgender Studies, which will allow me to pursue my research-creation project on trans ecologies. I am excited to immerse myself in the rich histories of resistance and resilience in the Archives. This fellowship is an ideal way for me to continue work affiliated with the academic world while sharing my project with a broader audience as a Community Based Scholar.

Arielle Twist

Arielle Twist is a Nehiyaw, Two-Spirit, Trans Woman that creating to reclaim and harness ancestral magic and memories. Originally from George Gordon First Nation, Saskatchewan. She is now based out of Halifax, Nova Scotia.

She is an author and multidisciplinary artist. Within her short career, she has attended a residency at Banff Centre for the Arts and Creativity, has work published with Them, Canadian Art, The Fiddlehead, PRISM International, This Magazine, and CBC Art and has been Nominated for a Pushcart Prize and Shortlisted in The National Magazine Awards, both in 2019. ‘Disintegrate/Dissociate’ is her first collection of poetry.

Her poetry, multi-media pieces, and performances have being exhibited in art galleries countrywide including The Khyber Centre for the Arts in Halifax, Toronto Media Arts Centre in Toronto, la galerie centrale powerhouse in Montreal, Centre for Art Tapes in Halifax, The Art Gallery of Mississauga in Mississauga, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia in Halifax and The Agnes Etherington Art Gallery in Kingston.
Its an incredible opportunity to receive a scholarship from the Chair in Transgender Studies at University of Victoria. I am honoured to go through the work of our aunties; the matriarchs who came before us and write, create and work from their histories.


2018 Community-based Fellows



Aeron Stark

Aeron Stark is a community-based researcher who has a BSc in psychology from the University of Victoria. He currently works in the field of mental health and addictions. The goal of the study is to determine whether LGBTQ youth who use substances have different experiences and attitudes towards law enforcement when compared to non-LGBTQ participants.
Aeron Stark is a community-based researcher who has a BSc in psychology from the University of Victoria. He currently works in the field of mental health and addictions. The goal of the study is to determine whether LGBTQ youth who use substances have different experiences and attitudes towards law enforcement when compared to non-LGBTQ participants.

Christopher Wolff

I believe that we as transgender, non-binary, and two-spirit people can transform our experiences into art and thereby create community and awareness for issues unique to our lives. Being a transgender writer, I'm very interested in how other trans artists, especially writers, establish a creative practice. I have seen firsthand the importance of a creative art practice, which is crucial both for individual wellbeing as well as a way to raise awareness for trans-related issues. My research at the Transgender Archives at the University of Victoria will focus on how trans artists of all ages have used their creative art practices to express themselves and their gender identity. I'm especially interested in how various artists have spoken and written about their work in order to foster belonging and create community with other trans folks. By looking at materials from the Transgender Archives documenting those processes, I hope to explore how creative art practices have supported individual and collective selfcare among transgender folks working as creative artists.
I feel incredibly grateful and honored to receive this fellowship from the Chair in Transgender Studies. My immigration status as well as my financial means don't allow me to pursue a further university degree. The community-based fellowship now gives me the opportunity to do research on behalf of issues benefiting the trans community. Thank you!

2017 Community-based Fellows


Alex Bakker

I am working on a book that will - for the first time - map Dutch transgender history. I am doing extensive research to reconstruct how the history of Dutch transgender care and culture took shape in the last sixty years. The reason I applied for the Transgender Studies Research Fellowships for Visiting University-based Scholars and Professionals is to research historical materials in the Transgender Archives about the Netherlands. I am looking for material that can give an understanding of how Dutch progress in transgender care and culture was received worldwide and want to examine what the impact of the 'Dutch approach' towards children and adolescents has been internationally.
I am honoured to receive a scholarship from the Chair in Transgender Studies. And very excited, because it allows me to research the Transgender Archives for any materials that show how early trans history of the Netherlands was perceived overseas. Who knows what gems I might delve up in the vast archives. Mapping transgender history from all kinds of places in the world is the right thing to do now, I think. The transgender present needs more context from the past.

Ludovic Foster

My PhD thesis is a counternarrative of the tomboy figure within popular culture. My research focused specifically on cultural representations of queer childhood identities centering the marginalised tomboy voices that have often been silenced and left on the margins of the Anglo-American version of the tomboy story. Reaching beyond well-known stories, I looked at tomboy representations outside the Eurocentric and North American versions, bringing in examples from the Caribbean, South America, Asia and from within the postcolonial diaspora. Exploring these various hidden tomboy histories has meant engaging with work on how the tomboy figure might ask us to rethink settled notions of childhood, gender identity, sexuality, and the very concept of childhood itself as a queer temporality. 
Receiving the Chair in Transgender Studies, and having access to the University of Victoria's wonderful Transgender Archives, is a real honor. 

Doctoral Degree Research Scholars


2019 Doctoral Degree Scholar



Elanna Stephenson

I’m a PhD student in the department of Chemistry. I completed my BSc in Chemistry at the University of Alberta and am originally from Edmonton. My research is in microfluidics, the study of fluids on the micrometer scale. My project uses microfluidics to form artificial lipid bilayers similar to those found in cells. I am able to apply these bilayers to the study of how drugs interact with and are absorbed across cellular membranes. My aim is to develop new microfluidic tools for studying how drugs are absorbed throughout the body, improving safety and reducing costs of the drug development pipeline.

I am grateful for the support of the Chair in Transgender Studies and am honoured to receive this award. Having the support of the Chair in Transgender Studies available to trans, non-binary and two-spirit students across all fields is a privilege. Thank you for helping me to achieve my education and career goals.



Kara Taylor

I am a queer, non-binary femme, academic/musician with two fierce, social justice warrior kids. My research sits at the intersection of sociology, social and public health/policy, medicine and medical education, and health systems research in the field of Transgender Health. Specifically, my dissertation research examines the barriers involved in the provision of, and access to, Trans, Two-Spirit, and Non-binary (T2SNB) competent primary health care, as well as the creative ways in which physicians and patients navigate those barriers. I hold a BA and MA in Sociology from the University of Victoria, Social Justice stream. I have been awarded both the Frederick Banting and Charles Best Canada Graduate Scholarship from the Canadian Institute of Health Research and a Doctoral Fellowship from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada. I have been published in Social Science and Medicine, as well as Feminist online publications. I am also a singer-songwriter who plays old country, and I am passionate about community-building and collective care.

This award is very important to me, as I thought I would have to leave my program (with a partial dissertation written!) due to chronic illness. This funding will help to subsidize a semester off of my employment at the Canadian Institute of Substance Use Research, where I have been working on a community-based project about queer men who engage in chemsex using meth, so that I can finish writing.



2018 Doctoral Degree Scholar



Leo Rutherford

My primary research interest is transgender men's sexual health after having surgery related to their genitals; such as metoidioplasty or phalloplasty. There is a significant lack of literature on sexual health after these surgeries yet sexual health is important for quality of life and overall health. Proposed methodology for my dissertation includes the use of a community based participatory framework in which trans men who have had or want to have surgery will design a survey which will be distributed across Canada and the U.S. Results will be shared widely in the community and with doctors or surgeons who can benefit from better understanding this population’s unique sexual health needs.

Being awarded a Chair In Transgender Studies Scholarship has provided an amazing opportunity to share my work with the academic and trans communities. Having support for the work I am doing is an invaluable asset to my studies and future career. So few trans people have access to this kind of support;
I plan to use this privilege as I work with community to improve our health and well-being.


2017 Doctoral Degree Scholars


Memet Dash

My research is on Computer Vision, which is an area of Computer Science that focuses on developing algorithms that "understand" images and videos.  In the past, I have focused on motion analysis in videos and I'm currently researching text and character recognition.

The fact that this scholarship exists is a small miracle.  It doesn't validate who I am, because only I can do that, but in a sense it does provide that type of support (and not just in the financial sense, though that's honestly a relief).  I'm honored to receive this award and am grateful for your selection.


Kelsey Rounds

My research will explore factors that contribute to trans elders’ ability to survive and thrive throughout their life span using Narrative Inquiry with a strengths-based and intersectional lens and focusing on aspects of experience that achieve positive outcomes for trans people. Through these stories, my research aims to provide tangible benefits to current and future trans elders as they navigate the aging process in various healthcare and community models. My research aims are 1) to inform multidisciplinary practice and health policy to create positive benefit for current trans elders and help to redress inequities in care, 2) to witness the wisdom and experience of trans elders, and 3) to preserve the experience of trans elders to contribute to trans history. 

I am deeply honoured to receive this scholarship. Of all the scholarships I have received in my life, this is the most powerful because it is recognition from my community and acknowledgement that my work is meaningful to trans and gender nonconforming communities. This scholarship makes it possible for me to pursue research to benefit trans and gender nonconforming people. Thank you.


Master's Degree Research Scholars


2019 Master's Degree Scholars



Vincent Bolt

My thesis topic is 2SLGBTQ+ homeless youth in Sudbury, and their experiences accessing shelters and housing services. At this time no research on this topic has been conducted in North Eastern Ontario, and I wish to fill this research gap. This scholarship will help me fund the research, and bring me closer to giving a voice to a population that is underserved. I have lived in Sudbury Ontario my entire life, and work with trans people in various communities across North Eastern Ontario. I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature, and a Bachelor of Indigenous Social Work from Laurentian University. I am starting my Master of Social Work at University of Victoria this fall.
I have lived in Sudbury Ontario my entire life, and work with trans people in various communities across North Eastern Ontario. I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature, and a Bachelor of Indigenous Social Work from Laurentian University. I am starting my Master of Social Work at University of Victoria this fall. Thank you for selecting me for this scholarship. This means a lot to me.

Alyx MacAdams

My research asks trans youth and supportive parent caregivers what care could and should look like for trans youth. As a trans person who organizes alongside young trans people and their families, my desire is to elevate knowledge that emerges from lived experiences so as to critically analyze dominant and normative ways care for trans youth is discussed. Putting into conversation trans studies, citizenship studies, and professional literature, I demonstrate that the ‘best’ care for trans children has been affixed to normative and neoliberal citizenship regimes. I argue that alternative care approaches honour the agency and self-determination of trans youth.
Receiving this award is meaningful not only because it makes a statement that research centring Trans, Non-Binary, and Two-Spirit people is necessary and of value, but because it encourages graduate students like myself to see our research with trans communities and our place within academia as important.


Gabe Schepens

Gabe is beginning an MSc with the School of Environmental Studies in the Fall of 2019. Their project will investigate how indigenous fishing and shell harvesting practices contribute marine nutrients to coastal ecosystems. Their love of ecology is paired with a sense of activism, both environmental and social. Most recently, Gabe has contested the binary gender options of the federal employee pay system after having been denied the X gender marker during their student employment with Parks Canada. They are committed to reflecting on their own experiences as a trans person in the context of allyship to indigenous autonomy.
Thank you very much for this award, I'm pleased to accept it!


Lydia Toorenburgh

Tansi, my name is Lydia. I am an Otipemisiwak (Cree-Métis person) with settler and Dutch immigrant ancestry. I have long known that I am bisexual, but have more recently begun the journey of coming into a Two-Spirit identity with the guidance of my elders. In my Masters of Anthropology research, I will be working with two powerful women scholars as we look into the challenges of marginalized individuals in accessing healthcare. To do this critical, community-engaged research, we will be using audio-visual research methods in order to amplify and prioritize the voices of the community.

Tansi, my name is Lydia. I am an Otipemisiwak (Cree-Métis person) and first-generation Dutch immigrant. I begin my graduate studies at UVic in September and I am so grateful to be doing so with the support of the Chair in Transgender Studies Master’s Degree Research Scholarships For Trans, Non-Binary, and Two-Spirit Students. Becoming one’s self is a long journey; I constantly struggle with navigating the intersections of my own race, sexuality, and gender but as I have stepped onto the path of earning and learning my Two-Spirit identity, I am finally experiencing the coming-together of my many different selves. Not only has this award helped to ease the stress of funding my education, it has given me a sense of acceptance an acknowledgement by the gender-queer community. I am looking forward to becoming a person that our community can be proud of.


(Alivia) Tianyi Wang

My research focuses on designing highly coloured and fluorescent molecules from existing dyes. Those dyes have long known to the research community, and my aim is to broaden their applications by simple chemical modifications. My research extends to all fields of chemistry, using experimental and computational methods to widen our understanding. While answering fundamental questions about their chemistry, my research project is to also enhance the optical and electronic properties of those dyes, allowing future applications in the fields of biology, medicine, and materials.

It is a great honour for me to receive this scholarship. As someone who started to transition very recently, receiving this scholarship reassures my confidence in my own decisions. With increasing awareness of minorities of all sorts in the STEM fields, this scholarship also inspired me to advocate for them, increasing their visibility. With full heart, I thank the Chair, all the staff, and the donors that make this scholarship possible.



2018 Master's Degree Scholars



Alexie Glover

My research uncovers and historicizes an overlooked aspect of America’s transgender history. The heterosexual male cross-dressers, or transvestites, of mid-century America constituted a group of individuals that espoused a particular discourse of respectability in their cross-gender practices, conceptualized unique bi-gender identities, advanced medical understandings of cross-gender individuals, and cultivated a community. My work uses the archives of Virginia Prince, Ariadne Kane, and Fantasia Fair to demonstrate the important political and theoretical advances made by a community that has largely been ignored by historians of the transgender phenomenon in the United States. My research prompts transgender historians to think critically about the diversity of identity categories that are encompassed in our present understanding of the term ‘transgender’.

The support of the Chair in Transgender Studies simply makes my research possible. The Chair’s commitment to trans-related research has forever altered the academic environment at the University of Victoria. Without the expertise, financial backing, and investment in the collection and preservation of the material housed in the Transgender Archives, this project would simply cease to exist. With the support of the Chair, I have met my scholarly idols, presented my research at conferences across the country, and been provided with an entirely unique graduate student experience. “Thank you” is simply not enough. My gratitude is endless.

Nathan Strayed

Nathan is currently a Masters of Social Work student at University of Victoria where he is looking closely into hospital care of trans patients specifically, in psychiatric services. Nathan comes to this program with years of experience working as a support worker in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside and more recently working in hospital with youth diagnosed with mental health concerns. Nathan has also worked as research assistant at Stigma and Resilence Among Vulnerable Youth at the University of British Columbia looking into trans folks experiences accessing gender affirming surgery and healthcare. In addition to this education Nathan has been a long time advocate for the trans community. During his time at Simon Fraser University, Nathan organized a successful “shit in” on campus to advocate for gender inclusive washrooms and for trans students to have the ability to use their “preferred” name on class lists and degrees.

I'm happy to receive this scholarship from the Chair in Transgender Studies firstly, because a department like this exists. Secondly, because this department is directly contributing to supporting trans folks in an academic setting who will in turn support trans folks in community. My project is related to supporting trans folks in psychiatric care and this scholarship is the recognition that the mental health of trans folks is important. In short, this scholarship means that I can spend my semester focussed on trans folks in psychiatric care rather than thinking of how I will support myself. I am so grateful to the department for this support and recognition, thank you.

Elanna Stephenson

My research is in the field of microfluidics, often referred to as “lab-on-a-chip”. It is an interdisciplinary branch of science concerned with the manipulation of fluids on the micrometer scale. A microfluidic chip contains channels the size of a human hair, allowing experiments as small as a few nanolitres in size. My work sits at the crossroads of chemistry, biology and engineering. It focuses on using droplets on these chips to mimic the bilayers found in human cells, which will allow us to gain insight into how drugs are absorbed by and removed from the body.

I'm honored to receive this award and am grateful for the support of the Chair in Transgender Studies. It is a privilege to be at an institution that places a high priority on the academic success of trans students and I am grateful that the Chair in Transgender Studies can provide this support to trans students across all fields.

Audrey Wolfe

My research explores how LGBTQ and gender-fluid youth make sense of their experiences with sexualized and intimate partner violence. My inquiry is situated within the West Coast of Canada and the United States during the 1990s when feminist theories about violence and public discourses about queerness were shifting. This (auto)ethnographic research will include analyzing zines and pieces of personal narrative text to access distinct aspects of survival that do not yet exist within the current literature upheld by the academic world.

Receiving this award means the world to me! As a student who relocated for graduate studies and has experienced barriers to employment, I have struggled with paying the high costs of tuition. Without this award, I would not be able to complete my final semester of coursework and begin my journey through autoethnography.


2017 Master's Degree Scholars



Alexie Glover

My research analyzes the historicization of cross-dressing and non-binary gender identities in the late twentieth-century United States. I argue that the emerging field of transgender history has limited the relevance of cross-dressing to the pre-gay liberation era. I examine the unique community of cross-dressers at Fantasia Fair, the longest-running annual gender conference in the ‘transgender world’. By working historiographically, I challenge an emerging teleological trajectory that relegates deviant bodies to the past—a teleology that situates non-binary bodies as the starting point of a trajectory towards full gender transition, which implies an adherence to the alleged gender binary. The cross-dressers of Fantasia Fair prove that this is simply not the case.

The Chair in Transgender Studies makes my research possible. I would not be a Master’s Student at the University of Victoria if it were not for the Transgender Archives or the Chair in Transgender Studies. Studying at an institution that prioritizes the academic study of trans and gender non-conforming individuals provides me with opportunities I would not find elsewhere, such as the Master’s Degree Research Scholarship. This funding will help me to prioritize unpaid academic work, such as conference attendance, academic blog work, and academic publication work, over employment for remuneration. Instead of worrying about finances, I can be disseminating my work on the history of trans and gender non-conforming people. The Transgender Archives is the entire primary source base for my thesis, so it is an exceptional feeling to know that the institution behind the archives is supporting its researchers as well! I cannot thank the Chair in Transgender Studies enough.

Alyx MacAdams

My research will be done with and alongside parents of trans, gender non-conforming, and Two-Spirit children and youth, and will look at how families make challenging transition-related decisions. Specifically, I will be looking at how families make decisions when faced with the 'unknown and unknowable' of transition, especially around fertility and reproductive futures. 

It is an honour to receive this award alongside such talented and wonderful colleagues doing meaningful trans research. The recognition of the Chair in Transgender Studies of trans, non-binary, and Two-Spirit students and of trans research not only helps reduce barriers to doing this work, but shows that trans people and trans research have an important place at universities. I want to express my gratitude for this award, and will do my best to use it to help the voices of trans children, youth, and their families be heard.

Corrina Sparrow

My communities and I hope to awaken Coast Salish knowledges (teachings, values, stories) about traditional non binary gender and sexuality systems, while exploring contemporary realities, resurgence and visioning for our non binary relatives. This research will lift up non binary Coast Salish experience on the west coast, where they have been previously silenced in literature and community. This work will support development of Coast Salish Two Spirit and non binary community, and services, as a means to contribute to identity-building, healing and traditional governance and gender systems in Coast Salish society.

It is such an honour and privilege to receive this award. The journey of those of us who are non-binary to reclaim space in family, community and culture has been a long one. Recognition and support shown by UVIC and the donors is both validating and affirming, as we embark on this path of cultural reconnection and healing in our Indigenous communities. I am so grateful to have friends and allies at UVIC standing by my side.

Mattie Walker

My research explores how young people utilize, learn, create, and engage with language regarding gender, particularly diverse experiences of gender including trans identities. A stronger comprehension of how young people utilize language and engage in terminology creation within their social contexts can enable researchers and practitioners within the helping fields to be better equipped to help young people navigate the challenges that they may face. I believe that exploring how young people utilize and create language regarding diverse gender experiences and transgender experiences as self-advocacy and self-empowerment will continue to add to depth of understanding of gender in order to influence policy and practice within the helping fields.

Receiving this award from the Chair in Transgender Studies means a lot to me as it gives me the opportunity to focus on my research and continue to pursue my work with gender diverse young people.

Audrey Wolfe

My research explores how LGBTQ and gender-fluid youth make sense of their experiences with sexualized and intimate partner violence. My inquiry is situated within the West Coast of Canada and the United States during the 1990s when feminist theories about violence and public discourses about queerness were shifting. This (auto)ethnographic research will include analyzing zines and pieces of personal narrative text to access distinct aspects of survival that do not yet exist within the current literature upheld by the academic world.

Receiving this award means the world to me! As a student who relocated for graduate studies and has experienced barriers to employment, I have struggled with paying the high costs of tuition. Without this award, I would not be able to complete my final semester of coursework and begin my journey through autoethnography.

Undergraduate Research Scholars


2017 Undergraduate Research Scholar


 

Jennie MacPhee-Woodburn

I am a fourth-year student completing my Bachelor of Social Work in the Faculty of Human and Social Development.  I plan to pursue my MSW and a career in clinical social work, specializing in gender identity issues.  Beginning in September I will begin a practicum placement at TransCare BC.  During my time at TransCare, my work will be focused on issues faced by children, youth and their families.  I will be producing a resource for community organizations across the province who facilitate workshops and support groups for parents of trans and gender creative kids.  This will include a needs assessment, and the purpose of this resource will be to help organizations to provide more relevant and competent support for this demographic.  In addition to this project, I will also be assisting with the production of online training modules for health care providers.

I would like to sincerely thank you for selecting me as a successful candidate for the Chair in Transgender Studies Undergraduate Research Scholarship.  I am very grateful and excited for the upcoming work and research I will be doing, and thanks to your generous scholarship, I will be able to do it a bit more easily.  As I come to the end of my social work degree, I am again very grateful to you for your generosity and for supporting my education.  This scholarship will enable me to maintain focus on my courses and practicum placement, and to contribute to the health and well-being of the transgender community in B.C.