Becoming a Trans Ally: Social Justice Work through Libraries and Archives

BAIL, Jeannie (2017) Becoming a Trans Ally: Social Justice Work through Libraries and Archives. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2017 – Wrocław, Poland – Libraries. Solidarity. Society. in Session 113 - Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) Users.

Bookmark or cite this item: http://library.ifla.org/id/eprint/1640
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Language: English (Original)
Available under licence Creative Commons Attribution.

Abstract

Becoming a Trans Ally: Social Justice Work through Libraries and Archives

This paper will provide an overview of the Transgender Archives (TGA), of which selected materials were on loan to the Queen Elizabeth II Library (Memorial University of Newfoundland) during October 2016, and to the Harriet Irving Library (University of New Brunswick–Fredericton) during March 2017. The TGA, founded by Dr. Aaron Devor, and housed at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, is the largest collection of transgender archival materials in the world. As an extension of these exhibitions, the libraries engaged with transgender communities in Atlantic Canada. Through this outreach, the intersectionality of trans lives with areas such as healthcare, legal, and government services was evident, and it is a reality that life for transgender people involves navigating these very different, and often bureaucratic and cumbersome, systems. Working with communities as trans allies, libraries and archives play a major role in providing access to reliable and timely legal and health-related information, and taking a position on social justice issues that divide many jurisdictions, such as the freedom to use the public restroom that corresponds with one’s gender identity. The support of transgender culture and resources by libraries and archives is just one way to promote gender inclusiveness, not just in the stacks, but in the wider community.

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