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Trans Stories, Spaces, and Cultural Production: Home

Welcome!

This guide is designed to help you research and discover multimedia expressions of trans culture and lived experiences. It is a resource for anyone, cis and trans alike, who wishes to delve further into the extensive world of trans history-making, storytelling, and cultural production.

We encourage everyone who finds this guide to appreciate and engage with the vast and layered culture of trans and nonbinary people. The sources represented here include collections of trans voices and culture; film and video projects for and by trans people; creative writing, oral histories, and much more.

Whether you are looking to find inspiration or context for your own creative works, explore for your own enjoyment, or research for academic purposes, you will find resources and search strategies within to help you get started.

All of the sources are organized by format, and are available at Pratt Libraries, the New York Public Library (NYPL), or online.

Introduction

We, the graduate students who created this guide, identify variously as trans and cis, and we have worked to compile these resources with our own limitations in mind. This effort notwithstanding, our viewpoints are limited as a factor of who we are and where we come from.

Throughout this guide, we use the word trans as an umbrella term, meant to cover any person who does not exclusively identify as the gender they were assigned at birth - this use of this term is not universally accepted, and may not be used in the same way in the future.

We also frequently use the term transgender in this guide, and you will find it used in many of the sources listed within. It is currently a commonly accepted term, though its first known use only dates back to the 1960s (Rawson, n.d.), and again its usage may change in the future. Our use of this term is partially rooted in practicalities of searching for resources, given that trans- is a common prefix for many words.

As you browse these resources, we ask that you be mindful of the voices you may not hearing, and aware of the social and economic structures and systemic marginalization that privilege some trans voices and suppress others. Black trans women have been the backbone of trans resistance and activism in the United States since it began, for example, and yet the voices of trans people of color are still too often left out or underrepresented in many academic, government, and community resources that purport to help or represent all trans people.

We encourage you to seek out many voices, and embrace the overlaps and conflicts, both between and within, trans communities and scholars in the interdisciplinary field of transgender studies. We also encourage you to consider the variety of formats included here, from traditional monographs to experimental films, how and why these formats were chosen by their creators, and how that may affect your use of these sources.

We welcome dialogue with and criticism of the guide. We would love to hear your feedback about this resource, including any sources you feel have been overlooked here or any other suggestions for improvement.

Sources: Rawson, K. J. (n.d.). The “Trans + Gender” Project. Retrieved November 24, 2018, from http://kjrawson.net/trans-gender-timeline/

Searching with subject terms

Below are links to examples of relevant Library of Congress subject headings used in Pratt's catalog. Many of the terms listed below have more specific subdivisions, such as "Gender identity in art" and "Transgender people - poetry." Other library catalogs and many online databases utilize subject headings, and using them to search can help you discover sources that do not necessarily have a term such as "trans" or "transgender" in the title or description.

 

Please note that a wide variety of terms have been used throughout history to describe gender-nonconforming people, and that subject headings, many of which are outdated and rooted in racist, sexist, Western views, may not necessarily reflect the terms that people would use to describe themselves.

The Digital Transgender Archive's (DTA) glossary includes helpful definitions for basic terms you might encounter while searching for information on trans stories and culture. To research gender-nonconforming practices from a wider variety of geographical and cultural contexts, try a keyword search using terms from DTA's Global Terms list. 

MSLIS Student

MSLIS Student

Links

Looking for general community support and resources? See this page for LGBTQ+ resources in and around Pratt.

Below are related guides to further your research:

LGBTQ+ Resource Guide

Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR) Research Guide

LGBTQ History in Government Documents