Blogpost on The Louisiana Trans Oral History Project

archiving oral history / community-based oral history / gay history / oral history / public humanities / trans history
Image taken from Louisiana Trans Oral History Project’s website

Much like other trans oral history projects, the Louisiana Trans Oral History Project aims to share, preserve and document the trans experience. The project was founded in 2020 and currently has 12 interviews on their website. An unusual but refreshing and interesting aspect of the project is that in these 12 interviews, 2 members of the project’s core team share their story. Both Dre Tarleton and Emmie Saux talk about their experience with gender identity and finding a community through the project’s journey. Through this process, the efforts to preserve and share the trans experience of Louisiana becomes personalized. The efforts of Dre Tarleton and Emmie Saux break the ice for other trans individuals of Louisiana to share their story as well. 

This project features storis from Peyton Michelle, the first out trans woman elected in Louisiana, and Sally Jackson who reflects on her experiences being queer in Louisiana before the 1990s. It is stories like these that help normalize trans existence while also demonstrating that trans lives are not always centred around their gender identity. Additionally, the project emphasizes the importance of location and how the trans experience might differ from one to another in different geographies. In this case, the project provides a glimpse into the queer livelihood, community, and history of Louisiana.

More of the Louisiana Trans Oral History Project can be found here
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