By Andrea Jenkins
As we recognize Transgender Awareness Month, there is much to celebrate in terms of awareness for the transgender community; however, there are also urgent issues that must be addressed that directly affect transgender lives.
We here at the Tretter Collection have recently posted the first videos from the Tretter Collection Transgender Oral History Project.
The Transgender Oral History Project of the Upper Midwest will empower individuals to tell their story, while providing students, historians, and the public with a more rich foundation of primary source material about the transgender community. The project is part of the Tretter Collection at the University of Minnesota, and the archives provides a record of GLBT thought, knowledge and culture for current and future generations and is available to students, researchers and members of the public.
As the National LGBTQ Taskforce writes:
“For the first time, and with activist and actor Laverne Cox blazing the trail, we have two popular television shows with transgender characters in lead roles—‘Transparent’ and ‘Sense8’—in addition to the reality shows ‘I am Cait’ and ‘I am Jazz’. The former has broken new ground by not only featuring Caitlyn Jenner, but also transgender activists such as Angelica Ross who have spoken to the experiences of trans women of color and low-income trans people. This has literally ‘introduced’ millions of Americans to transgender people for the first time and is a success indicator for the years of work to highlight the transgender community and the issues that they face. President Obama made history this year by being the first president to mention transgender people in a State of the Union Address. Indeed, the Obama Administration has continued to show strong support for the transgender community — from coming out against conversion therapy after the suicide of Leelah Alcorn, to speaking out against the violence against transgender women of color during a White House reception, to defending transgender teen Gavin Grimm’s right to use the school bathroom that corresponds with his gender identity under Title IX.”
Watch a video with Alonzo Wesley
About the Transgender Oral History Project
The Transgender Oral History Project tells the rich and unique stories of Trans and Gender Non-Conforming folks from the Upper Midwest. The diversity of stories is incredible and we invite you to view and learn from this initial sharing. Over the next months, we will continue to add new content for researchers, students, activists and storytellers. This project is being led by Andrea Jenkins, poet, writer, and trans-activist.
For more information contact Andrea Jenkins at firstname.lastname@example.org