Upcoming Speakers

Graduate Student Colloquium

Alyx MacAdams

Wednesday, April 11th, 2018, 12:30pm-1:30pm
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 children 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 children and 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. I will briefly discuss how my research methodology seeks to propose alternative possibilities, as determined by trans youth and supportive caregivers, for how trans children and youth are cared for.

Past Speakers

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


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

Kate Bornstein

The Chair in Transgender Studies presents:

Kate Bornstein


"On Men, Women and the Rest of Us"

Saturday, October 21st, 2017, 7:30pm (doors open at 6:45pm).
Hickman Building 105 - UVic

Entrance by donation: Suggested $20 at door (no RSVP needed). No one will be turned away for lack of funds! All donations will be matched by the Tawani Foundation. Check out our  and tell us you're coming! Doors open at 6:45pm.

Ways to give: Cash (preferred), credit card (Visa/MC/AE), cheques made out to "University of Victoria" with memo "Chair in Transgender Studies."

$50 donation or more: Help to subsidize those who cannot pay. Includes an intimate pre-show Green Room reception with Kate (6:30-7:00pm Hickman Building 110).  All donations will be matched by the Tawani Foundation. RSVP to . Your donation is welcome at the door or you can donate now (your emailed receipt is your ticket to the reception).   

Can't attend but still want to support? Donate now so that more events like this can happen! All donations will be matched by the Tawani Foundation.

Come spend a cosy evening with your very own Auntie Kate, who promises you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll gasp out loud as she speaks about the last thirty years of her life as a nonbinary identified queer trans dyke. This is an evening of her most favorite heartwarming anecdotes, touching and sometimes painful personal trials and tribulations, and inspiring tales of putting the world to rights. Her performance is at once deeply personal and universally acceptable, weaving  together stand-up comedy, theatrical monologues, audience conversation, and heart-to-heart storytelling to convey the experience of her long, rich nonbinary trans life. And just to show how much she loves you, every audience member will leave the theater with the gift of a Get Out of Hell Free card.  

"Hello, Cruel World:
An Outsider’s Mini-Guide to Survival"

Saturday, October 21st, 2017, 1:30-3:00pm

CityStudio - 742 Johnson St.

FREE (donations gratefully accepted)!

Ages 11+ are welcome! Check out our ! Limited seating. To ensure your space, please RSVP to .

Can't attend but still want to support? DONATE NOW so that more events like this can happen! All donations will be matched by the Tawani Foundation.

Sometimes, whatever it is that gives you the most joy, pleasure or relief also gets you into the deepest trouble—especially when you try to explain it to other people. Like when you love someone you're not supposed to love. Or when the way you express yourself makes other people queasy. As harmless as you feel you're being, people may still think you're bad, wrong or immoral. There are far too many people who are in that position in life, and it goes far beyond simply sex and gender. This workshop is 90 minutes of me talking with you about doing anything it takes to make your life more worth living. Anything. With the single rule: Don’t be mean. I love doing this workshop. - Kate Bornstein

Speaker Series

Speaker Series


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, 12pm-1pm. 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

Graduate Student Colloquium

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

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

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

“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 

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.