In November 2019, five attendees of the Transgender Spectrum Conference recorded oral histories reflecting on their stories as trans individuals. The conference planners worked with the Washington University Department of Special Collections to organize this project. Inspired by similar projects such as Tretter Transgender Oral History Project, https://www.lib.umn.edu/tretter/transgender-oral-history-project and the NYC Trans Oral History Project, https://www.nyctransoralhistory.org/, the project's goals were to preserve trans stories and experiences from the middle of America (areas commonly labeled Midwest, Plains, mid-South), and prioritize the experiences of trans communities that remain marginalized even in the wake of growing mainstream trans visibility. An open call was made to all attendees and five individuals selected to participate in the project. Interviews were conducted by the Curator of Local History, and a conference volunteer.
The Transgender Spectrum Conference, first held in 2013 "was community-based and overseen by a board comprised of community members and people with professional interest in gender equity." The 2019 conference was hosted by Washington University at the Brown School of Social Work on November 8 and 9, 2019. Although organizers hoped to make the oral history component a regular part of the conference program for future years, as of October 2021 it is uncertain if the conference will continue.
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Finding aid published: October 2021
Finding aid author: Miranda Rectenwald