Upcoming Speakers


Sarah Steele - Postdoc Speaker

Postdoc, Trans+ People in Canadian Prisons Project, Chair in Transgender Studies
PhD, Sociology, University of Illinois, Chicago


"Trans & Queer Sexual Politics:
The Practice of Reimagining Desire"

Thursday, February 29th, 2024
1:00 - 2:30 PM Pacific
If you're attending on Zoom, registration is required.

Sarah M. Steele, PhD, (they/them) is a postdoctoral scholar for the Trans+ People in Canadian Prisons Project at the University of Victoria, BC with a PhD in Sociology from the University of Illinois, Chicago. Sarah’s academic work, activism and research interests lie at the intersections of race, sexuality, and trans and queer politics. As a recent immigrant from the US, they are currently enjoying the short winter and early flower blooms on Vancouver Island.

As the classic feminist slogan goes: “the personal is political.” This social movement ideology worked by challenging the binary of public/ private arguing that private issues are indeed political issues. In this talk, I examine the inverse of this classic feminist idea, examining the political as personal. Or in other words, I'm looking at whether political ideologies and understandings shape the real experience of sexualities in the social world. Specifically, I examine the connections that trans and queer activists draw between their political commitments and their private sexual lives. Because culturally available, normative, and hegemonic structures of desire replicate larger systems of domination, Chicago’s queer organizers work to create a politics of desire that reimagines erotic life, denounces erotic injustice and deeply challenges heteronormative modes of dominance and control. In this talk, I explore in detail how queer and trans political ideologies are transforming the sexual lives of contemporary trans and queer activists in Chicago.

Past Speakers


Wyatt Maddox - Scholarship Recipient

PhD candidate, Geography, UVic
Recipient of 2023 Chair in Transgender Studies Scholarship for
Trans+ PhD Students researching any topic


"Climate Change on BC Shorelines: Exploring coastal vegetation's ability to protect shoreline"

Friday, February 16th, 2024
12:00 PM-1:30 PM Pacific Time

Wyatt Maddox is a third year PhD candidate in Geography. He holds a Bachelor of Science from UVic in Geography and a Master of Coastal and Marine Natural Resource Management from the University of Akureyri, Iceland. His PhD research examines the geomorphological relationship between coastal ecosystems in response to climate change impacts. Outside his studies, he volunteers as the Chair of the Graduate Student Society, moderates a self-founded online LGBTQ+ peer support group, and delivers meals for the nonprofit Red Cedar Café. Between his studies and community work, Wyatt finds time for backcountry hiking, crafting, and good books.

This research explores the relationship between different coastal vegetation types in terms of their ability to protect the shoreline from climate change impacts such as erosion and sea level rise. Eelgrass meadows and salt marshes are made up of plants that impact the waves and currents of the coast, but it is unclear if they work collaboratively or in opposition when located in the same area. Some numerical simulation models have been developed but have not yet been validated by confirming their results with field data. Several remote sensing technologies were used and the data combined to create complete models of the saltmarsh, eelgrass beds, and tidal flats between, which are compared over time to determine change in sediment erosion and deposition. This information is compared to the output from numerical simulation models to determine if they are producing accurate predictions.

Ariel Goldberg - Fellowship Recipient

Ariel Goldberg

"Being with Snapshots in the Trans Archives"

Ariel Goldberg will be LIVE online
Aaron Devor will be hosting in-person from the Trans Archives
Historical snapshots will be available to review in person

FREE PUBLIC TALK (donations gratefully accepted)
Monday, Dec. 4th, 2023
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM Pacific Time
University of Victoria
McPherson Library 003
 & Zoom

Snapshots are the most ubiquitous type of visual images I have found in trans and queer archives. This talk will study key snapshots from UVic's Trans Archives, from Fantasia Fair and Ariadne Kane's Outreach Institute's professional activities to think about the implications of this format and material for trans history. Late 20th century snapshots suggest accessibility to those eager to record their lives with automatic cameras on the market and commercial film development labs. In the stacks of snapshots are also mysteries. Often the people in the photographs, and those who took them, are unidentifiable. Snapshots, in their ambiguities and specific size and surfaces, offer many paths for narrating the clandestine and temporary gatherings of cross-dressers, transvestites, and transsexuals.

Ariel Goldberg is a writer, curator, and photographer working with trans and queer lineages in photography. Goldberg’s books include The Estrangement Principle (Nightboat Books, 2016) and The Photographer (Roof Books, 2015), and their short-form writing has most recently appeared in Lucid Knowledge: On the Currency of the Photographic Image, Afterimage Journal, e-flux, Jewish Currents, Artforum, and Art in America. Goldberg is a 2023-2024 Diamonstein-Spielvogel Fellow at the New York Public Library. Their exhibition on photography’s relationship to spaces for learning, Images on which to build, 1970s-1990s was on view (Sept. 30, 2022-Feb. 12, 2023) at the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati as part of the FotoFocus Biennial and Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art (March 10-July 30, 2023) in NYC.

Lee Airton - Lansdowne Lecturer


Lee Airton

Lansdowne Lecturer
Presented in partnership with UVic Social Sciences

The Next Five Years:
What will progress, go backwards, and stay the same in how Canadian K-12 schools seek to welcome gender diversity?

Thursday, Nov. 9th, 2023
1:00-2:30 PM Pacific Time: Join Lee for Coffee @ Bibliocafe
7:00 PM-8:30 PM Pacific Time:
"The Next Five Years" lecture
UVic Clearihue A127 & Zoom

Click HERE for the video recording of the talk, available only to UVic Netlink ID holders.


Publicly funded school boards across Canada have embraced, policy-wise, the advent of gender identity and gender expression human rights protections, as well as the emergence of gender diversity within student populations at all levels. Much of this policymaking has happened in a grey period: without caselaw that has yet to emerge from human rights tribunal decisions testing the scope of these protected grounds and more clearly defining related forms of discrimination in schools. In addition, provincial and territorial governments have been hesitant to issue directives on how, exactly, gender identity and gender expression discrimination must be proactively and reactively addressed. Throughout this time, Dr. Lee Airton has been supporting school boards, independent schools, teachers, administrators and related organizations in navigating this grey period: between policy and law. In this talk, Dr. Airton reflects on the Canadian K-12 teacher’s changing experience as schools endeavour to enact ambitious gender diversity policy while anti-transgender movements and discourses gain steam across Canada. 

Dr. Lee Airton is an Assistant Professor of Gender and Sexuality Studies in Education at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. In 2012, Dr. Airton founded They Is My Pronoun, the first Q+A-based blog about gender-neutral pronoun usage and user support with over 30,000 unique visitors in 2017 alone. In 2016, Dr. Airton founded the No Big Deal Campaign, a national social media initiative that helps people show support for transgender peoples' right to have their pronouns used. In 2021, Dr. Airton and their research team launched gegi.ca [pronounced gee gee dot c a], the first bilingual self-advocacy resource for K-12 students who are experiencing gender expression and gender identity discrimination at school. 

Dr. Airton's first book, Gender – Your Guide: A Gender-Friendly Primer on What to Know, What to Say and What to Do in the New Gender Culture offers practical steps for welcoming gender diversity in everyday life, and has been adopted as a key professional development text in teacher education programs, school districts, public sector and private sector organizations. With Dr. Susan Woolley, they recently edited Teaching About Gender Diversity: Teacher-Tested Lesson Plans for K-12 Classrooms (Canadian Scholars Press), the first such anthology to be published.

EQHR 5 Days of Action


Highlights: 2023 Moving Trans History Forward Conference

Presented by Chair in Transgender Studies
and UVic's EQHR: 5 Days of Action

Monday, October 30th, 2023
1:00 PM-2:30 PM
McPherson Library A308 Digital Scholarship Commons & Zoom


This session will provide highlights from the 2023 conference and will feature a selection of presentations from MTHF23, including in-person local speakers who will briefly talk about their research (Sage Dunn-Krahn, Şansal Gümüşpala, & Lydia Toorenburgh), and recorded video presentations from international researchers (Anshuman & Aaron Beck). Join Dr. Aaron Devor, and the Chair in Transgender Studies team, and help to move Trans+ history forward.

The 2023 hybrid edition of the Moving Trans History Forward conference, presented by UVic’s Chair in Transgender Studies, took place both in person at the University of Victoria and online March 30th – April 2nd. The biennial conferences are international, interdisciplinary, and intergenerational. MTHF23 brings together community activists, academics, artists, and allies from around the world to consider both our history, and the crucial issues which impact us today, and into the future—locally, nationally, and globally.

Jess Gibbard - Visiting Speaker

A Trans Voice Introductory Workshop with Jess Gibbard

FREE PUBLIC WORKSHOP (donations gratefully accepted)
Tuesday, October 3rd, 2023
5:00 PM - 6:30 PM Pacific
UVic, Cornett B111 & Zoom
All are welcome to attend!

The sound of one’s voice is a wholly unique experience – from the production to the way that you or others hear and interpret it, voice is one of the most personal attributes of a person’s identity. But what happens when a person’s voice doesn’t align with their gender identity? That’s where Trans+ voice coaching comes in!

Join Jess Gibbard for an introductory workshop on Trans+ voice, where she will guide you through the basics of sound production, the vocal attributes of pitch, weight and resonance, and several guided exercises that can change the perceived gender of your voice. This workshop will be focused on helping gender-diverse people gain a better understanding of their voices and will include elements of voice feminization, masculinization, and androgynization.

Over the past several years Jess Gibbard (She/They) has been actively working as a voice coach for binary and nonbinary Trans+ individuals. With a specialization in voice feminization, they have helped many people begin their personal voice journeys. She has a long history with voice.  She has always held a deep fascination for the production and manipulation of speech and sound, and is currently studying a BSc in Linguistics at the University of Victoria. Jess has aspirations to pursue a MSc in Speech Language Pathology at the University of British Columbia upon completion of her BSc.

"Vital People: Saanich transgender voice coach helps people all over the world"
- CHEK News

Julia Sinclair-Palm - Visiting Scholar

Julia Sinclair-Palm

"What does it mean to protect trans children?
Exploring debates about the figure of the trans child"

FREE PUBLIC TALK (donations gratefully accepted)
Thursday, Sept. 14th, 2023
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM Pacific Time

UVic David Strong C124 & Zoom


Recently, the figure of the trans child has become the centre of a number of legal and political battles in the U.S. Both sides argue that children need protection and that their innocence is being robbed. The media continually renews the belief that young trans people are a new phenomenon, and this libel about their newness reinforces the power, authority, and knowledge that adults have over children.

In this talk, I explore how the figure of the trans child is discussed in these debates and draw on Trans studies, Childhood and Youth Studies, and my research with trans youth to think about what we can learn from this current moment. I ask: What does this attention on the figure of the trans child tell us about the state of trans studies and childhood and youth studies? How are trans youth navigating cisnormativity and debates about their existence? I argue that trans children's ability to articulate their needs and advocate for their rights reminds us that all children have agency and self-determination. I also look to trans youths’ practices of choosing a new name to highlight narratives of trans joy and resistance to cisnormativity.   

Dr. Julia Sinclair-Palm (they/she) is an Associate Professor in Childhood and Youth Studies in the Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies at Carleton University. In their work, they examine how young people forge new identities, imagine futures and navigate structural inequalities in the midst of larger, and sometimes restrictive narratives about childhood and youth.

Jonah Garde - Visiting Doctoral Student

PhD Student, Interdisciplinary Centre for Gender Studies, University of Bern
Visiting Doctoral Student, Chair in Transgender Studies


Animal Connections: “Sex Change,” Racial Fantasies and Trans* Possibilities in the Early 20th Century

Jan. 12th, 2023, 12:00 - 1:00 PM

Hybrid Talk
UVic Clearihue C108 and on Zoom


In the spring of 1931, a strange story made headlines in the Austrian daily press: In order to change their sex, a well-known Viennese artist had successfully persuaded the imperial zoo to sell them a black male goat as an organ donor. Transplanted into the person’s abdomen the goat’s gonads were hoped to take root and transform the person’s sex by secreting “male hormones.” Performed by a well-respected Viennese doctor the sensational surgery quickly attracted several newspapers who sought interviews with the person in question and opened a debate about the possibilities of so-called “artificial sex changes.”

In my talk, I ask what fragmented stories like these tell us about trans* history, its colonial discontents, and how animals animated early ideas of “sex change.” I outline the contours of these trans*species encounters by tracing its origins in modern endocrinology and analyzing the human/animal divide, its racial underpinnings and the global entanglements that animated the discourse on “sex change” in early 20th century Europe. Drawing on a range of newspaper articles, medical case files and endocrinological research, I argue that the extraction and valorization of animals as well as the dehumanization of racialized Others served to rewrite and reimagine sex as malleable and plastic.


Jonah I. Garde (they/them) is a PhD student at the Interdisciplinary Center for Gender Studies at the University of Bern, Switzerland and currently a Visiting Research Student at the Chair in Transgender Studies at the University of Victoria, Canada. For their PhD thesis, which looks at the modern/colonial entanglements of early 20th century trans* histories, Jonah has received a Rosa-Luxemburg doctoral grant (2018-2021) and a mobility scholarship by the University of Bern (2022). Recent publications include “Provincializing Trans* Modernities” (2021) and, together with Simon Noa Harder, “Approaches to Trans*formative Pedagogies. A Conversation” (2021).

Contact: jonah.garde@izfg.unibe.ch

"Word of Mouth" - Panel Event


"Word of Mouth" Launch

 LIVE panel discussing the question:
“When did you first discover you were not alone?”

Friday, October 7th, 2022
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM Pacific
Online on Zoom

While some of us are lucky enough to take the existence of today’s Trans+ communities for granted, this is a relatively recent experience. It was not so long ago that sharing any kind of Trans+ related information was difficult, dangerous, and almost universally illegal. 

Join Aaron Devor, Chair in Transgender Studies, in conversation with six Trans+ activist elders and leaders.   This live panel discussion is in recognition of the launch of a digital exhibit about Trans+ oral histories, Word of Mouth.

Word of Mouth is an oral history digital exhibit that tells some of the story about how Trans+ communities and networks developed in North America in the latter half of the twentieth century.  The interviews are a part of The Trans Activism Oral History Project, an initiative of the LGBTQ Oral History Digital Collaboratory.  The full oral histories are housed at the Transgender Archives and are available through the Word of Mouth digital exhibit.

The 17 Trans+ activist who were interviewed only represent a small slice of Trans+ history.  This online panel conversation will bring together additional stories, so that future generations can learn from a more diverse group of Trans+ activists and experiences.



Marsha Botzer has served the LGBTQIA+ and progressive communities for over 45 years. She has served on boards of Pride Foundation, Safe Schools, Lambert House, Seattle Counseling Service, and the World Professional Association for Transgender Health. She currently serves on the Martin Luther King County Labor Council Executive Board and is a founding member and current Commissioner of the Washington State LGBTQIA+ Commission.





Jules Gill-Peterson is an associate professor of History at Johns Hopkins University. She is the author of Histories of the Transgender Child (2018) and a General Co-Editor of TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly. Her next book, A Short History of Trans Misogyny, will be published by Verso.




David Harrison is an actor, playwright and musician. His eclectic career includes being a professional psychic, hypnotherapist and dominatrix. He has primarily created and toured original work - including "FTM" (1994) based on his first year of transition. The show toured internationally over 9 years. His ongoing project at the moment, is stage and web series alter-ego, 60s rock star Reggie Wingnutz. Recent work includes his recurring guest star appearance as Russian spymaster, Ivan Stepanov (opposite James Spader) in Season 8 of NBC's The Blacklist.




Andrea Jenkins made history in 2017 as the first African American openly trans woman to be elected to office in the United States. Now serving as Council President, she is also a writer, performance artist, poet and transgender activist.

Jenkins moved to Minnesota to attend the University of Minnesota in 1979. She worked as a Vocational Counselor for Hennepin County government for a decade. Jenkins worked as a staff member on the Minneapolis City Council for 12 years before beginning work as curator of the Transgender Oral History Project at the University of Minnesota's Jean-Nickolaus Tretter Collection in Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Studies.

She holds a master’s degree in Community Development from Southern New Hampshire University, an MFA in Creative Writing from Hamline University and a Bachelor’s Degrees in Human Services from Metropolitan State University. She is a nationally and internationally recognized writer and artist, a 2011 Bush Fellow to advance the work of transgender inclusion, and the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships. In 2018 she completed the Senior Executives in State and Local Government program at Harvard University.




Nicki Ward's decades-long advocacy includes environmental issues and extends substantially into the areas of LGBTQ, Disability Human Rights and Community. In addition to private sector board experience, Nicki has also served on volunteer boards of public sector, charitable and institutional organisations.

Her work required extensive coordination between public and private sector institutions, regulatory bodies and the business community. Nicki Ward joined the European Green Movement as a teenager in the early 1970's. Early work focused on conservation and sustainable approaches to problem solving. This was founded on the principle that meaningful results ca only be achieved if they are environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable. Nicki's studies in advanced, economics, government & politics, and mathematics reinforced this foundation. 

While raising a family here, she served as a consultant in science and technology sectors before accepting a long term assignment in senior management with a major financial services company.


chase willier

Chase Willier is a nehiyaw (Cree) Two Spirit transman who was adopted out as part of the 60’s Scoop and grew up in Syilx territory. He joined the RCMP as the second indigenous woman in BC in 1979. He was out as lesbian and later identified as Two Spirit/Trans before he retired in 2010 although he didn’t transition until retirement.

After over 25 years of service, he finally took some time out to address his PTSD which is something he writes about in The Remedy. He is passionate about health and wellness and as such is involved in numerous projects in the Two Spirit/Trans community. His work in Vancouver also extended into areas of safety, justice and reconciliation specific to indigenous peoples whether urban or local First Nations.

Chase is married with a young daughter who is now entering into her second year of school. He is enjoying more time to pursue his own creative projects as well as contracting with Trans Care BC and Trans Focus which is keeping him busier than ever. Chase continues to serve his First Nations people which is a life long committment he has kept when he started his journey many years ago.

Charlie Waltz - Visiting Scholar

Charlie Waltz

“My Unholy Transition”:
How trans communities defined
the modern vampire

Thursday, May 5th, 2022
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM PACIFIC
Live on Zoom!

Charlie Waltz (they/he) is a PhD candidate in English Literature at the University of Tübingen, Germany. His dissertation surveys the “transanguine” histories of trans communities and vampire media. To communicate their research, Charlie is developing a TV rom-com, set in Victorian London, about trans vampires running a black-market queer bookshop.

Nineteenth-century trans communities defined the vampire as we understand it today. There is a long-held assumption that nineteenth-century gender was completely binary. However, Victorian Studies has been uncovering wide public awareness about trans people. Rapid urbanization created new opportunities for trans communities. Newspapers printed sensationalized stories about “female husbands” and trans sex workers. Sexologists published the first scientific studies of trans phenomena, which ran for multiple editions. At the same moment, Bram Stoker published the genre-defining Dracula (1897). Though not the first work of modern vampire fiction, Dracula distilled these popular ideas about trans people into a new and enduring characterization of the vampire.

FTM Newsletter Panel

FTM Newsletter Panel

Tuesday, March 29th, 2022
1:30 PM - 2:30 PM Pacific
Online on Zoom

The Chair in Transgender Studies, Aaron Devor, in conversation with a former leader, contributors, and readers of FTM Newsletter.  In celebration of the Transgender Archives digitizing all 67 issues (1987-2008) of FTM Newsletter.  Now online and available free of charge.  View FTM Newsletter online.



Kylar W. Broadus is a Black man of trans experience who has been a pioneer in the movement as an attorney, long-time activist, public speaker, author, lobbyist, and professor. Broadus is known worldwide for his work in the LGBT and Trans movements. 

Kylar subscribed to FTM Newsletter. It was a lifeline. It made him feel connected in a world where it felt that there were few people like him. FULL BIO.




Jamison Green, Ph.D. (Equalities Law) is a writer and policy consultant. He is the author of Becoming a Visible Man and a past president of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health. He lives in Vancouver, Washington.


FTM was founded in 1986 by Lou Sullivan.  Before Sullivan's death in 1991, he passed leadership of the organization to Jamison Green, who led the organization from 1991-1999. FULL BIO.



Rupert Raj (age 70) is a Eurasian-Canadian, pansexual Trans Elder, who's been an international Trans Activist in North America and abroad since he transitioned in 1971. 

He was the founding editor of three newsletters: "Gender Review" (1978-85) (the first national transsexual newsletter in Canada), "Metamorphosis" (1982-88) (the first newsletter exclusively for trans men in North America and abroad), and "Gender NetWorker" (1988) (for helping professionals). FULL BIO.



Max Wolf Valerio is an iconoclastic poet and writer. He began his medical transition in 1989. He is First Nations (Kainai/Blackfoot Confederacy, Treaty 7), Alberta Canada— from his mother’s side. His essays appear in many places, and he has been featured in several films.

The FTM Newsletter was a lifeline for Max in the late 1980s. He appeared on the cover of issue #24 (1993), and was briefly an Assistant Editor. FULL BIO. 

Elliot Marrow - Visiting Scholar


Elliot Marrow

Trans Perspectives on
Access to Gender-Affirming Care

Friday, March 4th, 2022
Live on Zoom!

Elliot Marrow is a Clinical Psychology PhD student at the University of Massachusetts Boston. He visited the Transgender Archives to research the development of the HBIGDA (now WPATH) Standards of Care and trans perspectives on early gender identity research. Elliot’s general research interests include the effects of power on trans marginalization, including discrimination in healthcare and intimate partner violence. He believes in the importance of centering marginalized communities in the research process and advocating for structural change.

Trans individuals in the 1960s-1980s did not passively receive gender-affirming care given to them by "experts;" instead, they persistently advocated for access to care. However, trans communities are not a monolith, and who should be given care and when was a subject of debate. This talk discusses trans community perspectives as trans individuals collaborated with, supported, challenged, resisted, and subverted the gender identity professionals who delineated criteria for access to care. Divisions within trans communities by race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status were particularly striking regarding clinicians' use of comprehensive mental health assessment. The perspectives discussed in this talk were sourced from archival materials, and are part of a larger analysis on the process of assessment for access to gender-affirming care from the 1960s to the present.

Joy Ladin - Guest Speaker

The Chair in Transgender and
Kolot Mayim - Building Bridges: Celebrating Diversity in Jewish Life

Joy Ladin

Jonah, God and Other Strangers:
Reading the Torah from a Trans perspective

Sunday, February 6th, 2022
11:00 AM Pacific
Live on Zoom - Registration Required

Joy Ladin is the first openly transgender professor at an Orthodox Jewish institution. Joy Ladin holds a Ph.D. in American Literature from Princeton University, and long held the Gottesman Chair in English at Yeshiva University.

Her most recent book, The Soul of the Stranger: Reading God and Torah from a Transgender Perspective, was a Lambda Literary Award and Triangle Award finalist. A new book of poems, Shekhinah Speaks, is in the voice of the Shekhinah, the feminine aspect of the Divine, and is forthcoming in early 2022. She serves as an emeritus member of the Board of Keshet, an organization devoted to full inclusion of LGTBQ Jews in the Jewish world.

In this talk, Joy will share her personal journey and offer her insights and unique reading of gender identity in the Hebrew Torah. She will analyze and reinterpret key texts from a trans perspective--that is, in light of experiences of not fitting into identity-defining roles and categories, experiences of feeling estranged that are particularly acute for transgender and nonbinary people but common to everyone and, the Torah tells us, to God.

K Phoenix - Scholar in Residence

K Phoenix

Creating Transgender Identity Maps in Japan

Thursday, January 13th, 2022
Live on Zoom!

Due to COVID restrictions, no in-person component will be offered.

K Phoenix is a Sociology and Gender Studies Associate Professor at Chiba University, Greater Tokyo, Japan. She is also a Scholar in Residence with UVic's Chair in Transgender Studies. K Phoenix has done fieldwork and interview research with Japanese trans communities for two decades.
In this lunchtime talk, I draw on the Trans+ Identity Words’ Map (2000s, 2010s, and 2020s) from my interview research of Trans+ people in Japan using their own words from an ethnomethodology and conversation analysis point of view.

Syrus Marcus Ware - Visiting Scholar

The Chair in Transgender Studies

Syrus Marcus Ware

“touch change: what I learned at the trans archives"

12:00 PM Pacific, Thurs., Nov. 25th, 2021

Syrus will be LIVE online, with Aaron Devor hosting in-person from the Trans Archives. JOIN US in-person, UVic, McPherson Library A003, OR on Zoom.

In this talk Dr Syrus Marcus Ware will be exploring the role of archives in community building and remembering who we deem as inherently valuable- considering the importance and need for spaces like the trans archives. Syrus will consider his project Touch Change:2068, a speculative fiction drawing and story-based exhibition held at Grunt Gallery in Vancouver based on his research in the archives.

Syrus Marcus Ware is a Vanier scholar, visual artist, activist, curator and educator. Syrus uses painting, installation and performance to explore social justice frameworks and black activist culture, and his work has been shown widely, including in a solo show at Grunt Gallery, Vancouver in 2018 (2068:Touch Change), for the 2019 Toronto Biennial of Art and the Ryerson Image Centre (Antarctica and Ancestors, Do You Read Us? (Dispatches from the Future)), for the Bentway’s Safety in Public Spaces Initiative in 2020 (Radical Love) and at the Never Apart in Montreal. His performance works have been part of festivals across Canada, including at Cripping The Stage (Harbourfront Centre, 2016, 2019), Complex Social Change (University of Lethbridge Art Gallery, 2015) and Decolonizing and Decriminalizing Trans Genres (University of Winnipeg, 2015). He is part of the Performance Disability Art Collective and a core-team member of Black Lives Matter – Toronto. His on-going curatorial work includes That’s So Gay (Gladstone Hotel, 2016-2020) and BlacknessYes!/Blockorama.

Mattie Walker - Scholarship Recipient

Supporting Gender-Diverse Survivors

Exploring Current Approaches to Trauma Support for
Trans, Two-Spirit, and Nonbinary People
Who Have Experienced Violence

Mattie Walker

Scholarship Recipient 2020
PdD Student, Social Dimensions of Health, UVic
Registered Clinical Counsellor

Thursday, January 14th, 2021
11:30AM - 12:30PM PST

With overwhelming evidence that a disproportionate number of Trans, Nonbinary, and Two-Spirit individuals experience violence in their lifetime, there is urgent need for informed approaches to providing trauma support. This presentation explores current approaches for professionals providing supports for gender-diverse survivors of violence, and outlines gaps in the literature, querying the idea of safety and safe experiences for gender-diverse people seeking trauma support.

Mattie Walker is a PhD student in the Social Dimensions of Health Program at the University of Victoria and a registered clinical counsellor, specializing in supporting individuals who have experienced trauma and violence.

Cáel Keegan – Fellowship Recipient

Invited speaker LIVE on Zoom

Cáel Keegan

In Praise of Bad Transgender Objects

Tuesday, October 27th, 2020
12:30PM-1:30PM PDT


BIO: Cáel M. Keegan is Associate Professor of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Integrative, Religious, and Intercultural Studies at Grand Valley State University. Keegan is the author of the book Lana and Lilly Wachowski: Sensing Transgender (University of Illinois Press, 2018) and has also published articles in Genders, Queer Studies in Media and Popular Culture, Transgender Studies Quarterly, Mediekultur, Spectator, and the Journal of Homosexuality. He also serves as senior Co-Chair of the Queer and Trans Caucus of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies and is Special Editor for Arts and Culture at Transgender Studies Quarterly. His current book project, The Edge of the Real: Mass Culture and the Transgender Imaginary, examines how transgender-authored popular media has altered our common sense of what counts as “real.”

ABSTRACT: The recent emergence of transgender identity politics in Europe, Australia, and North America has resulted in a new set of conditions that must be met for transgender representations to be considered “good.” And yet, as “good” transgender visibility has risen, so too has the violence directed against transgender bodies: For example, rights and protections that were provisionally extended to transgender citizens in the US have been dramatically rescinded, and transgender murders and hate crimes are now on the rise globally. Of what value is cultural recognition, we might wonder, when it can so easily be weaponized against transgender people? This talk explores what we might learn by embracing, rather than rejecting, older media texts—such as The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) and The Silence of the Lambs (1991)—that fail today’s standards for “good’ transgender representation, but that remain central to the meaning of transgender embodiment in Western culture. In this new and very bad era, what emergent critical resources might these “bad” objects reveal?

Adrienne Smith - Invited Speaker

Invited Speaker - Live on Zoom

Adrienne Smith

"Recent Advances in Transgender Law"

Tuesday, September 15th, 2020
11:30 AM - 1:00 PM PDT

Zoom Registration Required 

Adrienne Smith is a transgender human rights activist and social justice lawyer. They recently settled a BC Supreme Court case which guaranteed access to opiate replacement therapy for prisoners in BC jails. Adrienne appeared at the BC Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada where they argued about the deleterious effects of mandatory minimum sentences for women, indigenous people, and drug users. As a trade union activist, they advocate for transgender inclusion in our unions and workplaces. Adrienne volunteers at the Catherine White Holman Wellness Clinic where they give free legal advice, take on human rights cases, and notarize name change documents for trans people.

They hold a double honours BA in English Literature and Geography (2000), a Masters in Human Geography (2005) and a JD (2013) all from the University of British Columbia. They held a UBC undergraduate entrance scholarship for 4 years, and the Geography Alumni Award during their undergraduate degree. They received a University Graduate Fellowship and were named the Green College Scholar. They were called to the bar in British Columbia in 2014.

Adrienne is the recipient of the Canadian Bar Association BC Diversity Award; the Canadian Mental Health Association BC Branch Nancy Hall Public Policy Leadership Award; the Allard Law Alumni Achievement Award; and the Vancouver and District Labour Council Syd Thompson award for Award for Community Service.

The struggle for transgender recognition and rights in Canada is an evolving area of law. In this short zoom presentation, Adrienne Smith, a Vancouver Social Justice Lawyer will discuss recent legal victories for trans people, and a will discuss the issues that may be next for transgender litigants. Adrienne will begin with foundational cases about the right to access bathrooms and other gendered facilities, the right to change sex designations on government-issued ID without surgery, and the explicit recognition of gender identity and expression in provincial and federal human rights legislation. They will then give participants an update on the types of cases that have been argued since explicit recognition, and what types of cases we can expect in the future.

Lydia Toorenburgh - Scholarship Recipient

Chair in Transgender Studies Scholar
MA Student, Anthropology, UVIC

Lydia Toorenburgh


Searching for a Métis Approach to Audio-Visual Anthropology:
Cultural, Linguistic, Methodological, & Ethical Considerations

Wed., Feb. 26th, 2020
1:00-2:30 PM
UVic Cornett A317
Accessibility Information 

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.


Decolonizing and Indigenizing the Academy has long been an important focus in Indigenous scholarship, particularly in the social sciences. From this project has come a push for each researcher to design a unique approach rooted in their own personal, familial, community, and cultural values. With this attention to values and protocol, Indigenous and non-Indigenous researchers can develop an approach that challenges the colonial thinking and practices which have so profoundly harmed Indigenous peoples around the globe. As a Cree-Métis person with mixed European ancestry, I feel a responsibility to, and a passion for, learning to work and be in the community in a good way. My thesis is an exploration toward developing my own Cree-Métis approach to audio-visual anthropology and to my academic language. Learning from the work of salient Cree-Métis filmmakers, such as Christine Welsh and Gil Cardinal, and the literature of Indigenous and audio-visual researchers, I search for a practice that speaks to my teachings and values. In addition, I discuss the importance of language and my desire to depart from the history of the words “research”, “researcher”, and “research participant”. Instead, I consider Cree words whose meanings reflect my commitment to my unique, culturally informed, anti-oppressive, decolonized approach to my work, my “participants”, and academia. All my relations!​

Chamindra Weerawardhana - Visiting Fellow

Dr. Chamindra Weerawardhana

"Decoloniality, Transfeminism, and Love:
The Personal as Political"

Thursday, February 13th, 2020
11:30 AM - 1:00 PM (bring your lunch)
Cornett A317

Decolonial politics are inherently interlinked to the sphere of trans politics, a reality that is often overlooked. The world we live in prefers to compartmentalise people, their lived realities and their travails. This talk seeks to go against these trends, and build a common thread between decolonial politics and priorities in Turtle Island and elsewhere, intersectional feminist imperatives and trans politics.

Dr. Chamindra Kumari Weerawardhana is a political and international affairs analyst, and a gender justice activist, working especially in the areas of inclusive reproductive justice and intersectional feminist advocacy. A Sri Lankan national, she is a Research Affiliate at the Centre for Gender, Feminisms and Sexualities at University College Dublin. She currently serves as the Secretary to the Regional Steering Committee of the Asia-Pacific Transgender Network. She also serves as Directress of Venasa, Sri Lanka’s oldest trans equality network.

Ann Travers - Lansdowne Lecturer

Lansdowne Lecturer


Professor of Sociology - Simon Fraser University



Thursday, January 16th, 2020, 7:00 PM
Hickman Bldg 110 UVic

In recent years transgender children have gained visibility via mainstream and social media but most of the stories we hear belong to white and relatively affluent kids. Given the range of complex experiences trans kids are vulnerable to, it is crucial to situate transgender kids within broader relations of power and oppression. This lecture draws on critical theory from trans scholars of colour and allies to outline the importance of an integrated anti-oppression approach for understanding and supporting more precarious transgender kids.

Dr. Ann Travers is a Professor of Sociology at Simon Fraser University.  Their recent book, The Trans Generation: How Trans Kids (and Their Parents) Are Creating a Gender Revolution, situates trans kids in Canada and the US, white settler nations characterized by significant social inequality.  They are also the Principal Investigator on a SSHRC Insight Grant titled ”Gender Vectors of the GVA: using video game technology to assess social safety nets for transgender and gender nonconforming children and youth in the lower mainland."  In addition to a central research focus on transgender children and youth, Dr. Travers has published extensively on the relationship between sport and social justice, with particular emphasis on the inclusion and exclusion of women, queer and trans people of all ages.  Such publications include “Women’s Ski Jumping, the 2010 Olympic Games and the Deafening Silences of Sex Segregation, Whiteness and Wealth,” in the Journal of Sport and Social Issues; “Queering Sport: Lesbian Softball Leagues and the Transgender Challenge,” in International Review for the Sociology of Sport,” co-authored with Jillian Deri; and “The Sport Nexus and Gender Injustice,” in Studies in Social Justice Journal.  Travers’ first book, entitled Writing the Public in Cyberspace: Redefining Inclusion On the Net, released in 2000, is an analysis of the ways in which equity of participation is inhibited in public spaces fostered by new information technologies.  Ann Travers has been appointed Deputy Editor of the journal, Gender & Society.

Terrence Abrahams - Visiting Fellow

Chair in Transgender Studies Visiting Fellow

Terrence Abrahams

MA candidate - Literatures of Modernity - Ryerson University


Tues., Nov. 26th, 2019
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
Cornett A319 (Bring your lunch)
Accessibility information

Drawing from Terrence’s MA thesis, this presentation will aim to resist the urge to define transgender poetics. Trans poetics are, simply put, poetics written by trans people, but within such a genre of writing exists a myriad of forms, styles, themes, subject matter, and uses of language that are, arguably, unique to trans poetics. This presentation will honour and highlight the work of trans writers, past and present, in shaping trans poetry. It will also look to the personal poetics of many of the selected authors by addressing interviews, personal essays, and other ephemera in order to have a better understanding of how transgender authors express their poetics, as well as how they read and understand the poetics of others. As a transgender individual who is also a student, a burgeoning educator, and a poet himself, Terrence’s research and subsequent writing comes from a place of consideration, of care, and of a kind of necessity.


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 are allowed space in academic study.

MT Vallarta - Fellowship Recipient

MT Vallarta

PhD Candidate, University of California, Riverside
Chair in Transgender Studies 2019 Visiting Fellow

Brown Shout Outs: 
Trans and Non-binary Filipinx American Poetry

Sept. 5th, 2019, 12-1:30PM

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.
In this presentation, we will explore how contemporary Filipinx American poetry written by queer, trans, and non-binary artists functions as a conduit for social change and the cultivation of queer futures. Through "Filipinx method," an artistic and theoretical mode of resistance, poets Mark Aguhar and Kay Ulanday Barrett reflect the racial and socioeconomic conditions queer people of color face through the formal elements of their poems, but also imagine and materialize other forms of social organization outside the heteronormative. Through queer feeling, recognition, and kinship, Aguhar and Barrett highlight the urgency and criticality of trans and non-binary expression, and how the poetic can activate our capacities for social transformation.

A.J. Lowik - Visiting Scholar

A.J. Lowik

PhD Candidate - University of British Columbia
Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality & Social Justice

"Creating Trans-Inclusive Abortion Services:

Challenging the Gendered Silos of Reproductive Health Care"

FREE PUBLIC TALK (bring your lunch)
Friday, May 3rd, 2019
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM

A.J. Lowik is a PhD Candidate with the Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice at the University of British Columbia. Their dissertation research considers trans people's reproductive decision-making processes, building on their MA thesis which focused on access to abortion and trans people's inclusion into women-only spaces. A.J. teaches Intro to Trans Studies at UBC, and has facilitated many workshops on trans-inclusion, including the Promoting Trans Literacies workshop series at UBC, a workshop on menstruation movements with PERIOD, and numerous workshops with yoga studios. They also work part-time at the B.C. Centre for Substance Use, as part of a team focused on creating substance use research, policy and treatment options that are inclusive to trans, as well as gay, lesbian, bisexual and queer people. They recently co-authored a commentary with the Journal of Addiction Medicine on creating gender-inclusive alcohol interventions for pregnant people.

"This presentation will explore A.J.’s previous life as an employee at a women-only abortion clinic, their subsequent MA thesis which considered the barriers and obstacles to trans-inclusive abortion services, and the manual for abortion providers that they have since written on this topic, which has been distributed across Canada. By considering the abortion clinic as an exemplar, this presentation will challenge and critique the gendered silos of reproductive health care more generally, where embodied reproductive experiences like pregnancy and abortion, childbirth, lactation, etc. are understood as exclusively women’s experiences, and frequently delivered in women-centred or women-only spaces. It will address the clinical landscape of abortion in Canada and the United States and identify areas of concern for trans folks experiencing unwanted or unplanned pregnancies. It will also explore the opportunities for trans-inclusive abortion care that are opened up when we allow for self-managed pregnancy termination, bringing abortion out of the clinics and hospitals and into the hands of pregnancy people."

Esther Suwannanon - Scholar in Residence

Esther Suwannanon

Scholar in Residence from
Thammasat University, Bangkok, Thailand

History, Politics and Activism in Thailand"

FREE PUBLIC TALK (bring your lunch)
Wed. Mar. 20th, 2019
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
UVic Cornett A317
Accessibility Information

Esther C. Suwannanon, is presently an M.A. student in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Thammasat University, Bangkok, Thailand. She is currently researching Kathoey history through the analysis of her personal formal/informal archives and living in Canada as a graduate visiting research student at University of Victoria where she is a Canada-Asian Scholarship and Education Exchanges for Development Scholar.

Thailand has been known by outsiders as a land of tolerance for gender-variant people. The existence of the word ‘Kathoey’ to describe gender-variant people can be traced back over a long period in Thai history, and has long been called a ‘third sex/gender’ category (Phet thi-sam, เพศที่สาม) within public and academic discourses. Even though Thailand has never been colonized, a variety of Western ideas have been incorporated into Thai society, and Thai Sex/Gender concepts have been shaped by Western ideas adopted by Thai elites. After WWII, the acceptance of aspects of American culture led to the recognition of Western medical knowledge. Western-inspired terms, for instance, Gay, Lesbian and Ladyboy, have become wide spread in Thai society, and since at least the 1970s western scholars have used the term Third Sex/Gender as a framework to explain sex and gender beyond the duality. Since the early 21st century, gender non-conforming people are more visible in society and the term Transsexual/Transgender has been emerged and combined with Kathoey activism and identity. I re-examine what Kathoey meant in the past, and what Kathoey means nowadays, and consider the limitations of “Thirdness” in Thai society.


Leo Rutherford / Corey Keith - Community Speakers

Leo Rutherford & Corey Keith

"Rainbow Community Health Initiative 
Progress & Strategy"

Free Public Talk (bring your lunch)
Wednesday, March 6th, 2019 
12:00 - 1:30 PM
UVic Cornett A317
Accessibility Information

Leo Rutherford is a PhD student, queer and trans community members and advocate for sexual health and rights. He is passionate about community based participatory research and the health of transgender people. Leo’s background is in Psychology and Human Sexuality; his proposed dissertation will determine the sexual satisfaction of trans men who have undergone surgery on their genitals. Leo works on a few different research projects, each addressing the health, rights or sexuality of trans people. He is excited to be a part of the ‘Our community health initiative’ team!

Corey Keith uses the pronouns per and pers. Per provides passion, experience and knowledge through counselling, consulting, and workshops in the areas of sexuality and gender since 2006. Integrating Western and Eastern wisdom to enhance already existing practices to further create a sense of Radical Self Love, Authenticity, Spiritual Connection and Sacred Relationships. In September of 2018, Corey became part of the Rainbow Health Team. Per taught in the Bachelors of Social Work program, Sexual Orientation and Gender Expression, in 2013 and 2015. In 2009, Corey received a Bachelors of Aboriginal Social Work from NVIT, a diploma in Professional Counseling in 2011 from Rhodes Wellness College and then in 2016, a Masters of Education from Thompson Rivers University.

Our Community Health Initiative is a 5-year, province-wide community-based program, that seeks to determine the state of healthcare for Transgender, Two-spirit, Non-Binary (T2ENBY) people. This program, newly funded by the Vancouver foundation, and previously funded by the CIHR will also include documenting changes in healthcare or access to care. Our intention is to bring the T2ENBY community members together to create lasting change to increase the health of these diverse communities. This endeavor involves several community projects designed to fill gaps in physical, mental, spiritual and emotional health services for T2ENBY people. The largest goal is the creation and maintenance of a T2ENBY-led collation made of members from across the province. Research outcomes include the documentation of healthcare challenges, changes and improvements to these as well as understanding what is important to T2ENBY people in the province. We believe in ongoing knowledge translation and intend to obtain these communities’ input at each stage of our research and project development processes. We are excited to work with the T2ENBY and broader communities to create lasting and innovative change.

Veronica Ivy - Visiting Speaker

Dr. Veronica Ivy

First Trans World Champion in an Olympic Event

Including Trans Women Athletes in Sport:
Analyzing Principles and Policies of
Fairness in Competition

Wed. Feb. 20th, 2019, 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
UVic David Strong C130

Accessibility information
Donations gratefully accepted at the door

Veronica Ivy is a philosopher, athlete, and activist for trans rights. She is the 2018 UCI Masters Track Cycling world champion in the Women 35-44 Sprint event, giving her a unique perspective on trans athlete rights. Veronica is the first trans world champion in an Olympic event. She has published widely on topics ranging from epistemology, philosophy of language, and metaphysics, to trans* studies, psychology, and ethics. This includes her 2015 book, The Norms of Assertion: Truth, Lies, and Warrant (Palgrave), and dozens of journal articles and book chapters. Veronica has published pieces on trans issues in outlets such as The Washington Post, CBC Sports, The Independent, OutSports, and others. She is currently working on a variety of issues surrounding barriers to trans athlete rights, including anti-trans harassment, gaslighting, and stereotypes. Veronica is training to win a Canadian national championship and to defend her masters world championship title in Manchester UK in October 2019.
In this paper, co-written by Dr. Aryn Conrad, we examine the legal and ethical foundation for inclusion of transgender women athletes in competitive sport, drawing on IOC principles and relevant Court of Arbitration for Sport decisions. We argue that the inclusion of trans athletes in competition commensurate with their legal gender is the most consistent position with these principles of fair and equitable sport. Biological restrictions, such as endogenous testosterone limits, are not consistent with IOC and CAS principles. We explore the implications for recognizing that endogenous testosterone values are a “natural physical trait” and that excluding legally recognized women for high endogenous testosterone values constitutes prima facie discrimination on the basis of a natural physical trait. We suggest that the justificatory burden for such prima facie discrimination is unlikely to be met. Thus, in place of a limit on endogenous testosterone for women (whether cisgender, transgender, or intersex), we argue that "legally recognized gender" is most fully in line with IOC and CAS principles.

Dan Wei - Scholar in Residence

Dan Wei

Scholar in Residence from Nanchang University, China

Cross-gender Performance
 & Transgender Issues in China

Free Public Talk (bring your lunch)
Wednesday, February 6th, 2019 
12:00 - 1:30 PM
UVic Cornett A317

Dan Wei, PhD, lecturer at Nanchang University in China, is a visiting scholar funded by the Chinese Scholarship Council. She is interested in gender inequality and transgender issues in China. She is doing research on cross-gender performance in Chinese theater and transgender history, politics, and activism in China.
China has a rich tradition of theater, dating back well over one thousand years, and cross-gender performance plays a significant role in Chinese opera. Male-to-female performance in Beijing Opera and female-to-male performance in Yue Opera have been important in the development of Chinese opera. They have provided a key location over centuries of Chinese history where gender boundaries were fluid.

Compared to LGBTQ activism in Western countries, transgender activism is going through a revolution in modern China. Movement on legal issues, subtle changes in government attitudes, and empowerment through social media by younger LGBTQ groups, scholars, and doctors have been making change step by step in China, although there is still a long way to go.

Jules Gill-Peterson - Fellowship Recipient

Jules Gill-Peterson

Chair in Transgender Studies Fellowship Recipient
University of Pittsburgh

Against Transsexuality:
Spirituality as Trans Feminine Practice in 1950s California

Free public talk
Tue. Jan. 22nd, 2019
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM (Q&A included)
UVic McPherson Library 025 (lower level)

Sorry, no food permitted
Venue is wheelchair accessible
Accessibility Map
No registration

Jules 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.

The Chair is also co-sponsoring Jules' talk with UVic's School of Social Work. “Depathologizing Trans Childhood: A Trans of Colour Critique of Gender.” Wed. Jan. 23rd, 12:00-1:30 PM, MacLaurin D116.

Sophie Labelle - Visiting Speaker


Sophie Labelle

Visiting Speaker
Cartoonist behind "Assigned Male"

"An Evening with Sophie Labelle:
Trans Cartoonist & Author"

By donation public talk
Monday, January 21st, 2019
7:00 PM
All ages welcome
Venue is wheelchair accessible
Accessibility map
No registration

Sophie Labelle is an internationally renowned visual artist and author from the South shore of Montréal. She is the transgender cartoonist behind Assigned Male, a webcomic about a group of queer and trans teenagers that has been running since 2014 and already touched millions of readers. She talks about her experience growing up transgender, her work as a cartoonist and cyberbullying.

Kyle Shaughnessy - Fellowship Recipient

Kyle Shaughnessy

Chair in Transgender Studies Fellowship Recipient
Dalhousie University

"Teaching & Learning Two-Spirit:
Decolonizing Gender Diversity Education"

Free public talk
Fri. Jan. 11th, 2019
12:30 - 2:00 PM
UVic Cornett A317 (3rd floor)

Bring your lunch!
Venue is wheelchair accessible
Accessibility map
No registration

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.

Charles Ledbetter - Fellowship Recipient


Fellowship Recipient - University of Tübingen, Germany

"Trans Speculative Fiction
in Independent Media"

Tues. Nov. 20th, 2018 
12:30 - 2:00 PM
UVic Cornett A317

BIOGRAPHY: Charles Ledbetter is a writer, activist and PhD candidate at the University of Tübingen in Germany. A graduate of the Orange County foster care system, Charles received a BA in English Literature from UCLA and an MPhil from the University of Cambridge. Their doctoral dissertation analyzes the intersection of trans and posthuman themes in contemporary speculative fiction. This fellowship at the University of Victoria’s Transgender Archive grants them the opportunity to study texts written by trans folks for trans folks and the liberatory imaginaries therein.

ABSRACT: This talk 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.

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. 

Kyle Kirkup - Invited Speaker


Assistant Professor, University of Ottawa (Common Law)

‘The Origins of Gender Identity and Gender Expression
in Anglo-American Legal Discourse’

Wed. Nov. 7th, 2018
2:30 PM - 4:00 PM
UVic Cornett B112

Anglo-American lawmakers are in the midst of introducing a series of anti-discrimination protections for trans people. By and large, they are making this change by adding the terms ‘gender identity’ and ‘gender expression’ to a variety of human rights law instruments. In June 2017, for example, the Parliament of Canada passed Bill C-16, An Act to Amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code. The legislation adds the terms ‘gender identity or expression’ to the Canadian Human Rights Act, along with the hate crimes provisions of the Criminal Code. Similar pieces of legislation have been introduced in the United States and the United Kingdom.

While legal scholarship has spent considerable time debating the merits of such legislation, comparatively less attention has been paid to the plural, and often contradictory, history of ‘gender identity’ and ‘gender expression.’ This article traces the origins of these terms, arguing that ‘gender identity’ is the product of mid-century psychiatric discourses that constructed trans people as a narrow class of persons. ‘Gender expression’ is a comparatively newer concept, emerging in the 1990s in concert with performative theories of gender that sought to demonstrate how disciplinary norms are imposed on all members of society. The contemporary reliance on these terms reflects what Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick has called the tension between ‘minoritizing’ and ‘universalizing’ accounts of gender and sexuality.

Aeron Stark - Fellowship Recipient

Aeron Stark

Thursday, Oct. 25th, 2018, 12:30pm-2:00pm
Cornett A317 

"The Experiences of LGBTQ Youth in Three Cities Across British Columbia: Substance Use, Discrimination, Police, and the Law"

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. Aeron will speak about whether LGBTQ youth who use substances have different experiences and attitudes towards law enforcement when compared to non-LGBTQ participants.

Jonah Garde - Fellowship Recipient

Jonah Garde

"Trans(chrono)normativity: Imagined Hormone Times and Resistant Temporalities"

2018 Fellowship Recipient & Visiting Scholar, University of Bern, Switzerland

FREE PUBLIC TALK (donations gratefully accepted)
Tuesday, Oct. 9th, 2018
12:30pm-2:00pm (bring your lunch)

UVic - Cornett Building A317 

ABSTRACT: 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. Thus, chrononormativity is a central component of transnormativity, producing temporal forms of intelligibility and recognition of trans* subjectivity. In these narratives, synthetic hormones play a key role in fostering notions of progress and linearity. Tracing the entangled histories of sex hormones from early endocrinology to contemporary production within the pharma-industrial complex as well as their accompanying discourses and practices my presentation highlights the colonial, gendered, racialized, ableist, and nationalist underpinnings of trans(chrono)normativity. Concluding, I want to offer thoughts on the possibilities of resistant temporalities that undermine hegemonic notions of time drawing on practices of biohacking and trans* cultural productions that evoke untimeliness rather than chrononormativity.

BIO: 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 of Somatechnics.

Son Vivienne - Visiting Speaker

Son Vivienne

"Code-switching Identities: curating networked presence"

Visiting Scholar - RMIT University, Australia

FREE PUBLIC TALK (donations gratefully accepted)
Friday, Oct. 5th, 2018 12:00-1:30 PM
UVic - CORNETT A317 

BIO: Son Vivienne is a Post-Doctoral Researcher at Creative Agency and the Digital Ethnography Research Centre at RMIT. Their principal expertise is digital self-representation, online activism, queer identity, and rhetorical strategies/feminist practices for speaking and listening across difference. Son is also involved in community development and arts as an activist, workshop facilitator and media-maker. Son is author of Digital Identity and Everyday Activism: Sharing Private Stories with Networked Publics (Palgrave Macmillan) and co-author/co-editor of Negotiating Digital Citizenship: Control, Contest, Culture (Rowman & Littlefield).  Son curates several collective storytelling websites for queer (www.rainbowfamilytree.com)and gender-diverse (www.storiesbeyondgender.com) communities and has over twenty years of multi-media production and distribution experience. As an award-winning writer/director/producer of drama and documentaries, they tackled subjects as diverse as youth suicide; drug cultures in Vietnamese communities; and lesbian personal columns. Their film work includes multi-lingual (Vietnamese-English and Adnyamathanha-English) and multi-modal (animation, micro-docs, digital storytelling and interactive web-platforms) projects that reflect their comparative, cross-cultural and critical approaches to communication and storytelling. You can contact Son via their website at www.incitestories.com.au or twitter @sonasterisk.
ABSTRACT: Non-binary gender identities pose a problem for international provision of education, health services and citizenship, and yet gender-diverse stories proliferate in a multitude of online spaces and are increasingly visible in mainstream media. Could the co-incidence of new ‘beyond-dualistic’ ways of being neither wholly male/female and online/offline, spell an end to finite and binary ways of being and doing gender? This project examines the intersections between emergent gender categories and fluid, multiple digital identities. It engages discrete groups of young gender-diverse people, their parents, educators, health providers and policy makers, in short creative workshops, where they each produce a pseudonymous, ‘ungendered’ selfie. These fragments of self will be curated in an online archive/website and exhibition at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia. Images and reflections will also be used as prompts at a Symposium in which we unpack the many ways we may like to be categorised and archived in more formal institutions of governance, education and citizenship.

Samuel Singer - Lansdowne Lecturer

Samuel Singer

"Trans Rights are (not just) Human Rights"

FREE PUBLIC TALK (refreshments provided)
Friday, Sept. 28th, 2018, 7:00 - 9:00 PM
UVic Fraser Bldg 158

Friday, Sept. 28th, 2018, 3:00 – 4:30 PM
Join Samuel Singer for a coffee & casual conversation.

The Chair in Transgender Studies and the Lansdowne Lecture Series proudly presents Samuel Singer, Faculty of Law, Thompson Rivers University, and Founder of Montreal’s Trans Legal Clinic.

Samuel Singer is a long-time advocate for trans people. In 2017, he completed a comprehensive report for the Canadian Human Rights Commission on the development of trans rights in Canada. He founded the Trans Legal Clinic in Montreal in 2014 and served as its supervising lawyer. Before his legal studies, Singer worked for ASTT(e)Q, a Quebec trans health and advocacy project.

There has been much discussion of the role of human rights in addressing trans marginalization. In this talk, I argue that as advocates, we need to widen our lens by turning our attention to trans legal issues outside of human rights law. Drawing on a study of trans case law in Canada, I pull out lessons from cases in areas including family law, youth protection law, and disability law. I argue that a fulsome and intersectional approach to trans rights requires other legal tools beyond human rights to improve trans lives.

Christopher Wolff - Fellowship Recipient

Christopher Wolff

Trans Artists: the how and why of their creative practices

Mon. Aug. 27th 2018 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM
UVic - Cornett Building A317
Join us for Nachos Night at the University Club following the talk! 

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.

Anna M. Kłonkowska - Fellowship Recipient

Anna M. Kłonkowska

"Transgender people in Poland. Identities, experiences and social circumstances."

Thursday, July 26th, 2018
12:00pm-1:30pm (bring your lunch)

UVic - Cornett Building A317 

ABSTRACT: The presentation of this paper is to address 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.

BIO: 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).

Susan Stryker - Visiting Speaker


"The Life and Death of Frances Thompson:
Intersections of Transgender History, Race, 
Disability, and Sex-Work after the U.S. Civil War"

Thursday, June 28th 2018, 7:00 PM
David Strong Building room C122
(donations gratefully accepted)



This lecture, drawn from Stryker's forthcoming book What Transpires Now: Transgender History and the Future We Need, tells the story of Frances Thompson, whose Congressional testimony after the Memphis Massacre in 1866 was instrumental in the establishment of Radical Reconstruction, the continued occupation of the defeated South by the victorious North. A decade later, as the U.S. debated ending Reconstruction in the context of a bitter presidential election, Thompson was targeted for ulterior political purposes, and details of her personal life became fodder in the national campaign. Thompson's story and her eventual fate offer a sobering reminder that many current issues about sex work, disability, gender complexity, and race have deep historical roots.


Susan Stryker is an award-winning scholar and filmmaker whose historical research, theoretical writing, and creative works have helped shape the cultural conversation on transgender topics since the early 1990s. Dr. Stryker earned her Ph.D. in United States History at the University of California-Berkeley in 1992, later held a Ford Foundation/Social Science Research Council post-doctoral fellowship in sexuality studies at Stanford University, and has been a distinguished visiting faculty member at Harvard University, Macquarie University in Sydney, Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, and the University of California-Santa Cruz. She is the author, co-author, editor, or co-editor of numerous books and anthologies, including Gay by the Bay: A History of Queer Culture in the San Francisco Bay Area (Chronicle 1996), Queer Pulp: Perverse Passions in the Golden Age of the Paperback (Chronicle 2000), The Transgender Studies Reader (Routledge 2006), Transgender History: The Roots of Today’s Revolution (Seal Press 2008, 2017), and The Transgender Studies Reader 2 (2013). Her academic articles have appeared in such publications as GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, Radical History Review, South Atlantic Quarterly, Parallax, Australian Feminist Studies, Social Semiotics, and Journal of Women’s History, while her public scholarship has appeared in Aperture, Wired, The Utne Reader, and Slate.com. She won an Emmy Award for her documentary film Screaming Queens: The Riot at Compton’s Cafeteria (ITVS 2005), and is also the recipient of a Lambda Literary Award (2006), the Ruth Benedict Book Prize (2013), the Monette-Horowitz Prize for LGBTQ activism (2008), the Transgender Law Center’s Community Vanguard Award (2003), and two career achievement awards in LGBTQ Studies—the David Kessler Award in  from the City University of New York’s Center for LGBT Studies in 2008, and the Yale University’s Brudner Memorial Prize in 2015. Dr. Stryker served for several years as Executive Director of the GLBT Historical Society in San Francisco (1999-2003), and for five years as Director of the Institute for LGBT Studies at the University of Arizona (2011-2016), where she is Associate Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies and coordinator of the university’s Transgender Studies Initiative. In addition to serving as founding co-editor of the academic journal TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly, she is currently developing several media projects, and has a book under contract to Farrar Straus Giroux, What Transpires Now, about the uses of transgender history for the present. 

KJ Cerankowski - Visiting Speaker

KJ Cerankowski

Friday, June 8th, 12:00 PM - 1:30PM, 2018 (bring your lunch)
Cornett Building rm. A317

KJ Cerankowski is assistant professor of Comparative American Studies and Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist studies at Oberlin College. Cerankowski co-edited the book Asexualities: Feminist and Queer Perspectives (Routledge, 2014) and has published articles in the journals Feminist Studies and WSQ (Women’s Studies Quarterly). 

“Chasing Charley, Finding Myself: Being and Becoming in the Archive”

In Sierra Stories: True Tales of Tahoe by Mark McLaughlin, buried in the middle of the book is the story of a reputable and heroic stagecoach driver who went by the name of Charley Parkhurst, or “One-eyed Charley.” The 1880 obituary for Charley, published in the Sacramento Daily Bee, consistently refers to Charley as “he” even while noting upon his death he was found to be “unmistakably a well-developed woman.” As McLaughlin tells the story of Parkhurst, “She became the first woman to vote in the United States, 52 years before the passing of the 19th amendment!”  In this talk, I will discuss my search for Charley, not as a recovery of a lost biography, but as the springboard for my own meditations on gender, transition, and creating an archive of the body while searching for the body in the archive, all of which inspired my current book project, I Don’t Know If This Is About Trans Stuff, Or What: Essays.

Kristina Olson - Lansdowne Lecturer

Kristina Olson

Presented by the Chair in Transgender Studies & Lansdowne Lecture Series

Kristina Olson is an Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Washington where she is also the director of the TransYouth Project, the first large-scale, national, longitudinal study of transgender children's development. Dr. Olson received her BA in Psychology and African and Afro-American Studies from Washington University in St. Louis and her MA and PhD from Harvard University before beginning her faculty career at Yale University, moving to the University of Washington in 2013. Her research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Arcus Foundation, and the Satterberg Foundation amongst other sources. Dr. Olson has won several early career awards including the Janet Taylor Spence Award for Transformational Early Career Contributions from the Association for Psychological Science, the International Social Cognition Network's Early Career Award, and the SAGE Young Scholar's Award.

"Early Transgender Children's Development"

Wed., Feb. 7th, 2018
7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
UVic David Turpin A104 FREE PUBLIC TALK - donations gratefully accepted

Announced on our day of birth or even months before, sex and gender are perhaps the most central social categories that affect our lives regardless of the society into which we are born. While the study of how we come to understand our own gender and the influence gender has on our lives has been central to the study of human psychology for decades, nearly all research to date has focused on people who experience “typical” gender identity (gender identity that aligns with one's sex). In this talk, I will discuss our recent work exploring gender development and mental health in an increasingly visible group of children—transgender and gender nonconforming youth—for whom gender and sex diverge considerably. I will explain how studying gender diverse children enhances our understanding of gender and well-being more broadly and can speak to ongoing debates about gender diverse children.

"Studying transgender children: the good, the bad, and the complicated"

Wed., Feb. 7th, 2018
1:30 PM - 2:30 PM
UVic Cornett A317
FREE - donations gratefully accepted

In this informal discussion and Q&A session, I will discuss how I came to study transgender and gender diverse children, the expected and unexpected challenges of working in this area (from the methodological limitations to the unexpected politics), and where I hope to see this work go moving forward. Come with questions and I'll give my best, most honest answers about the joys and sorrows of working in a hotly debated area of interest not only in fields I know, but far outside the walls of academia.

Syrus Marcus Ware - Visiting Speaker


WHAT: Come listen to Syrus Marcus Ware talk about his research, art, and activism, including what brought him to The Transgender Archives.

WHEN: Tuesday, November 28th, 2017, 12:30-1:30PM.

WHERE: Mearns Centre for Learning – McPherson Library A003 - University of Victoria

Syrus Marcus Ware is a Vanier Scholar, visual artist, activist, curator and educator. Syrus uses painting, installation and performance to explore social justice frameworks and black activist culture. He is a facilitator/designer at The Banff Centre, and for 12 years was the Coordinator of the Art Gallery of Ontario Youth Program. Syrus is the inaugural Daniel’s Spectrum Artist-in-Residence (2016/17) and is also a core-team member of Black Lives Matter- Toronto.

Official Website: syrusmarcusware.com
[Video] “Love and Living: Syrus Marcus Ware” – Creative Time Summit
[Video] "Queer (Self) Portraits: Syrus Marcus Ware" - CBC

Elias Capello - Fellowship Recipient

Elias Capello


Elias Capello

Chair in Transgender Studies Research Fellow

DIY (Do-It-Yourself) Trans on the Bayou

The talk will discuss and analyze the narratives from interview data of 11 transgender people from Louisiana. In particular, I will discuss the idea of "self-made identities" and how they are culturally and socially influenced by local economic and medical politics.

When: Tuesday, July 18th, 12:00 - 1:00 PM, 2017. Bring your colleagues and brown bag lunch!

Where: Hickman Building (HHD) room 120.

Bio: Elias is a medical anthropologist who is examining materials 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. Elias focuses on themes of embodiment, dissemination of knowledge about bodies and health, and resilience.

Graduate Student Colloquium

Alyx MacAdams

"Contradictions in Care: Trans Youth Experiences of Care"

Wednesday, Sept. 12th, 2018, 12:30pm-2:00pm
UVic - Cornett A317 

Alyx MacAdams is a Master’s of Social Work student at the University of Victoria. Their research, work experience, and activism centres around the goal of elevating the voices of young trans people and providing support to parents and family members of trans children and youth.

This colloquium presentation will discuss my thesis research, which is focused on discourses of care in relation to trans youth and citizenship. The purpose of my research is to elevate the knowledges young trans people and supportive caregivers have around what care could and should look like for trans youth. For this presentation, I will situate my research within social citizenship literature about the child citizen and trans citizenship to demonstrate how constructions of normative citizenship and childhood within the Canadian neo-liberal context form unstable and contradictory meanings of what constitutes ‘care’ for young trans people. In this analysis I will include discussion of the themes that have emerged in the first part of my data collection, interviews with supportive parents/caregivers.

Leo Rutherford

Tuesday, February 20th, 2018, 12:30pm-1:30pm
Cornett A317 

The sexual health of trans men after bottom surgery: A community-based inquiry.

This colloquium presentation will explore the academic literature related to transgender men's sexual health after having surgery related to their genitals. There is a significant lack of literature on this topic, therefore related multi-disciplinary discourses will be drawn upon. Large gaps in the literature will be discussed which point to the importance of research on this topic. Proposed methodology for my dissertation includes the use of a community based participatory framework and the collection of quantitative data through surveys. Anticipated findings and planned knowledge translation activities will also be shared through presentation. Critique and feedback from trans community members and academics are welcome as this can help ensure the integrity of my research process.


Nicola Temmel

January 24th, 2018 

Nicola Temmel has a BA in Criminology from Carleton University and is currently a University of Victoria Sociology MA Candidate under Aaron Devor’s supervision. Nicola’s professional background focuses on researching, preventing, and responding to violence against women and children. Through her six years of experience working as a Transition House Women’s Counsellor, Nicola developed an interest in understanding how women-only organizations can better meet the needs of trans women accessing their services. As such, her MA thesis focuses on how transition house women’s counsellors respond to trans women accessing residential support.

I will be presenting on my thesis topic. The title of my project is "Trans-Forming Women’s Shelters: Making Transition Houses Safe and Accessible to Trans Women". Transition houses offer short-term emergency shelter to women and children affected by violence and abuse. My academic and professional background focuses on understanding and addressing gender-based violence through an intersectional feminist lens. Drawing on my 7 years experience working as a transition house counsellor, my research focuses on better understanding the challenges, opportunities, and insights experienced by transition house counsellors who have worked with trans women.The findings of this qualitative study could contribute to improvements in trans inclusive practices of transition house counsellors and result in practical recommendations to social services providers in relation to better meeting the needs of trans women.

Audrey Wolfe, 2017

December 18th

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.

The purpose of my research is to further the knowledge and understanding of young LGBTQ people’s experience with sexualized and intimate violence and how they make sense of those experiences. Using an autoethnograhic methodology, I plan to draw evidence from my personal narrative stories and my poetry journals, including those that I kept while living with an abusive partner when I was twenty-one and twenty-two years old. I hope to contribute to a body of knowledge regarding young people’s experience of violence.

Kelsey Rounds

November 20th, 2018

Kelsey Rounds is pursuing a PhD in Nursing at the University of Victoria. Their current research focus is transgender elders and resilience, using a lens of social justice and intersectionality. Kelsey’s goal is to conduct research that makes a positive impact for LGBTQ communities, as well as helping people who experience multiple oppressions by giving voice to the intersectional experience in ways accessible to program designers and policymakers.

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.

Alexie Glover

September 18th, 2017

“Redressing History: Cross-Dressing, Non-Binary Gender Identity, and Fantasia Fair”

Alexie Glover is a second-year MA candidate at the University of Victoria. She studies trans and gender non-conforming history in North America, with a particular focus on the late twentieth century. She also works as an assistant editor for Notches: (re)marks on the history of sexuality.

How can historians write about gender without dichotomizing? My paper analyzes the historicization of cross-dressing and non-binary gender identities in the United States. I argue that the emerging field of transgender history has limited the relevance of cross-dressing to the pre-gay liberation era. My paper examines a unique community of cross-dressers at Fantasia Fair, the longest-running annual gender conference in the ‘transgender world’.  These cross-dressers conceptualized both their embodied sex and gender identities in ways that do not conform to binary understandings of gender and therefore force us to question the apparently stable, transhistorical nature of male-female gender binaries that historians often impose on the past. Furthermore, these people push historians to see cross-dressing as a recent historical category, as opposed to a practice that died out with increased access to hormones and sex re-assignment procedures. By working historiographically, I challenge an emerging teleological trajectory that relegates deviant bodies to the past—a teleology which 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.

Mattie Walker

October 23rd, 2017

Mattie Walker is a student in the final stages of the Master of Arts program in the School of Child and Youth Care.  Mattie currently works with children and youth who have experienced sexualized and gender-based trauma, abuse, and/or violence.  

My research explores how young people utilize, learn, create, and engage with language regarding diverse experiences of gender including trans identities. As a Child and Youth Care practitioner, I believe that 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. My Masters’ research explores how young people talk about gender online. This study provides a descriptive exploration into the many ways language is being utilized by young people to shape, evoke, and construct the diverse understandings of what gender means in their lives by analyzing data gathered through the social media platform, Tumblr. This inquiry shows that these young people create unique terminology to describe, discuss, define and share their engagement with gender categories and identities. The findings of this study suggest that a creative, nuanced, and flexible understanding of the ways in which the language and terminology shape and influences how gender is lived and then discussed within specific contexts both on- and offline, will greatly assist practitioners to support youth with this highly complex topic. 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.