Upcoming Speakers

Aeron Stark - Community-based Fellow

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.

Past Speakers

Jonah Garde

Jonah Garde

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


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

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

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


"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

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.

Sandy Artuso

Sandy Artuso

Wednesday, April 11th, 2018, 12:30pm-1:30pm
Cornett A317 

Sandy Artuso is a FNR-funded PhD candidate in the Department of German Studies at the University of Luxembourg. She is writing her thesis about German autobiographies written by trans people.

"Lunch Hour with Jean, Coccinelle, Simone-Yvonne, Christine and the others"

In the 1950s and 1960s, the life-stories of several internationally renowned trans persons were widely received throughout Western Europe. The names and stories of Christine Jorgensen, Jan Morris or Coccinelle circulated in mainstream magazines, finding avid readers also among the trans subcultures in Germany. Yet, it was not before the 1980s that first German autobiographies written by trans people started to appear. Many of these authors relate that they read about famous trans people for the first time and that their narratives helped them understand themselves.

I am currently writing my PhD thesis about German autobiographies written between 1980 and 2016. During my stay at the University of Victoria, I want to analyse the scope of the "international" influence on the production of autobiographies in German-speaking countries. In this presentation, I will give an overview of my research project with an emphasis on the corpus and present first results of my work in the Transgender Archives.

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

Elias Capello

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.