What’s this project about?

The complexities of what it means to live as a trans* person in a cis-sexist world are finally starting to gain some academic attention. Lots of research has been done about trans* experiences in public spaces, such as bathrooms and schools. We also know that trans* youth, in particular, experience high levels of homelessness.  In this project we want to know how trans* identities are expressed in private spaces, specifically in homes — spaces that might be safe havens from transphobia, or might not be.  We want to learn more about trans* people’s diverse experience of home (including not having one) and about the process of finding a home. We are interested in hearing about how everyday activities like housework and gardening, which are strongly gendered in heteronormative households, are re-negotiated and experienced differently by folks in trans* households. We want to know about things like home decor, including special objects on display and why they might be important to you, and whether they have anything to do with your identity.  We want to know about how moments of transition have impacted your living space, and whether there’s any correlation between the two–as the external shifts, do interiors change with it? We want to have conversations and learn more about the experiences of individuals, couples, and families in any kind of housing situation.

Because this project is both academic and activist in nature, we want to hear from you about how it can continue to take shape and how we can make our findings politically relevant and useful to trans* communities.  One of the researchers (Max) is an assistant professor of social and cultural geography at Temple University in Philadelphia; one of his main interests is the intersection of sexuality, gender, and space. The other (Dana) is a queer and trans activist, social worker, and mediator currently based at Outright Vermont in Burlington. You can read more about us on the bios page. The research will be ongoing and include interviews and, hopefully, home tours and photographs, primarily in Vermont, New York City, and Philadelphia. If you’re interested in participating, or know someone who might be, please be in touch! email dana@outrightvt.org or max.andrucki@temple.edu.

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