Andrea Jenkins, the first openly transgender black woman elected to public office in the U.S. will present “The T is Not Silent: Centering Black Trans-Identities in an Historical Context” at the Moving Trans History Forward conference, March 22 to 25 at the University of Victoria. The historian, poet, and curator of the Transgender Oral History Project at the University of Minnesota is also a Black Lives Matter activist. Photo contributed

Moving Trans History Forward conference aimed at more than LGBTQ community

UVic’s Aaron Devor: “We’re all here to learn from each other”

For four days beginning March 22, the University of Victoria will host the third iteration of Moving Trans History Forward, a biennial conference spearheaded by the chair of the Transgender Archives.

In collaboration with speakers, activists, and artists from all over the world, the event is a unique mix of academia and community-based conversation.

“There really isn’t any other event [like this],” explains Aaron Devor, chair of the Transgender Studies program. “I want to encourage that kind of dialogue. It’s important that academics and community members have that contact with each other.”

From March 22 to 25, members of the global transgender community will converse about the importance of connecting across generations. One of the highlights this year are the youth and elders panels – open to the public – and keeping in step with the theme, “From Generation to Generation.”

“This time we wanted to go not just into the present, but into the future,” Devor says. “[Panelists] will speak about the work they’re doing to bring that future into existence.”

That future is something Devor sees changing, as someone who interacts daily with students. Universities can be a protected environment, he says, but they offer a glimpse of the future, populated by people who are making positive changes.

Across Canada, he says, attitudes are changing and people are more receptive to the changes they see happening around gender. “It is uneven and there are people who resist, but I see them at this point in the minority.”

RELATED: UVic Transgender Archives welcomes Kate Bornstein

Here in Victoria, Kingsley Strudwick has been slowly chipping away at those changes as the founder of Ambit Gender Diversity Consulting, offering trans inclusion training to businesses, community groups and most recently – members of St. George’s Anglican Church.

“There’s definitely been more and more uptake, it just reflects the community desire to engage in conversations like these,” says Strudwick, thankful to have a space to engage in intergenerational conversations with people he describes as “thoughtful” and “keen to continue the dialogue.”

A lot of the work Ambit does is focused on bridging seemingly different communities, Strudwick says, but the conference is unique in that it provides an opportunity to do that bridging work within communities.

So often people don’t hear about the impact their work has on the ground, Strudwick explains. Because the transgender community is one that often “meets” online, it’s just so important to see people face to face, he says.

“That gives me that fuel and memory as to why I’m doing the work, and propels me forward.”

Kent Monkman, a Canadian Cree two-spirit artist whose work has been shown in museums, galleries and collections across the world, will deliver the keynote address, speaking about his new series of paintings.

“The T is Not Silent: Centering Black Trans-Identities in an Historical Context,” is a talk presented by Andrea Jenkins, the first openly transgender black woman elected to public office in the U.S. The historian, poet, and curator of the Transgender Oral History Project at the University of Minnesota is also a Black Lives Matter activist.

“It’s so deeply important to honour the work we’ve done to bring us to this cultural moment,” Strudwick says. “[But] part of the conversation has to be about what isn’t in the archives and witnessing whose histories are usually maintained and whose are strategically and subconsciously left out.”

Devor’s hope is that at its root, the conference provides a space for people to meet and engage with others they may not typically be exposed to. That includes transgender, non-binary, two-spirit people, but cisgender people – those whose gender identity aligns with the sex assigned to them at birth – as well.

“We’re all here learn to from each other,” he says, asking that everyone remains kind and gentle with each other. “It makes a difference in the experience – we’re all going to make mistakes, but be generous.”

For more information regarding Moving Trans History Forward, visit uvic.ca/mthf2018/ or to download the conference program, click here.

kristyn.anthony@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Pedestrain struck on Quadra Street

A pedestrian was struck by a vehicle on Quadra Street at Hulford… Continue reading

Victoria airport workers rally on Tuesday

Food service workers call for improved working conditions

Police respond after dog left in vehicle at the movies

West Shore RCMP determined the animal was not in distress

BC Nurses Union calls for decriminalization of opioids

BCNU president wants the federal government to do more to reduce preventable deaths

Saanich grants public hearing to senior housing proposal

Five-storey rental apartment would add 39 units near Cuthbert Holmes Park

VIDEO: Trudeau shuffles familiar faces, adds new ones to expanded cabinet

Justin Trudeau shuffles his front bench Wednesday to install the roster of ministers that will be entrusted with leading the Liberal team into next year’s election.

‘Amazing Race Canada’ competitors face B.C. challenge

They drove Corvettes, mastered falconry basics, and ate blueberry pie in the Cowichan Valley

Grizzly bear jumps in river, chases B.C. kayaker

The bear got a bit too close for comfort along the Elaho River near Squamish

Island man convicted of 1999 sex assault at Fraser Valley music festival

James Allen Redden, formerly of Nanaimo, was found guilty of three charges

Parks Canada looks to shine light on cloudy future for historic sites

A plan is in place to produce 10-year plans designed to turn around sagging attendance figures

B.C. poet shines a bright light on struggle with homelessness

Book launch for John La Greca’s Homeless Memorial is at Vernon’s Gallery Vertigo July 21.

Former Vike returns to lead women’s rowing program

Williams rowed for UVic, Oxford and Canada

Ontario police say attack on Muslim man was motivated by hate

Two men, aged 27 and 19, have been charged with assault in the incident

Canadian Tire delivers toys to ease kids’ street play pain in B.C. neighbourhood

It’s like Christmas for 11 kids who are supposed to be confined to their yards by strata bylaw

Most Read