From the Trump administration’s decision to roll back non-discrimination protections to the murders of Black trans people like Nina Pop and Tony McDade, it seems like trans issues are always in the headlines. It’s impossible to understand this moment without understanding what trans people are asking for — and what they’re up against.
Transcripts is a new podcast that puts the transgender movement in context. Using oral histories from the Tretter Transgender Oral History Project at the University of Minnesota Libraries, hosts Andrea Jenkins and Myrl Beam introduce listeners to the trans activists who are changing our world. Guests include LaSaia Wade, founder of the Brave Space Alliance, Diamond Stylz of Black Transwomen Inc., Gabriel Foster, founder of the Trans Justice Funding Project, Rickke Mananzala, former Executive Director of FIERCE, and Dean Spade, founder of the Sylvia Rivera Law Project and author of Normal Life: Administrative Violence, Critical Trans Politics, and the Limits of Law.
“These stories aren’t just about bathrooms. They’re about issues that we’re all grappling with right now as a nation — issues like police brutality and criminalization, access to medical care and housing, freedom from racism and discrimination,” Beam says. “The social safety net has never been available to Black trans people, who have relied on mutual aid for years.” If you’re wondering how our country can tackle these big questions, you have something to learn from the activists you’ll hear on Transcripts.
“The podcast stands on its own as wonderful piece of radio,” says Rachel Mattson, the Curator of Tretter Collection in Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Studies. “But it also offers an invitation to listeners — to explore the full-length interviews in the Tretter Transgender Oral History Project collection.” Nearly 200 interviews from this project are currently available online, with more material to be added in the coming year. “The podcast is an effort to make our collections accessible to and useful for our communities in new ways.” Mattson says. “Trans people’s voices are so often absent from the historical record.”
Transcripts launches June 24
The pilot episode of the podcast launches June 24, 2020. You may listen to the show’s promotional trailer, and you can subscribe to Transcripts on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Anchor.fm, or wherever you get your podcasts. Planning (and fundraising) for a six-episode series of this podcast is currently underway.
And join us on June 25, 2020 for a virtual panel discussion, hosted by the Minneapolis Institute of Art, to celebrate the podcast’s premiere. Panelists will include several of the trans activists featured in this podcast episode. The event is free and open to the public. Details can be found on Facebook.
For more information
Visit our website to learn more about the Tretter Transgender Oral History Project. Major funding for this project provided by the TAWANI Foundation. Additional funding by the Minnesota Humanities Innovation Lab.
For more information, or to schedule an interview with the program hosts or Rachel Mattson, Curator of the Tretter Collection, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.