Trans Activism Oral History Project

This is an oral history project conducted in the academic year 2019-2020. The lead interviewer has been Dr. Evan Taylor, and the main collaborators have been the Transgender Archives (Dr. Aaron Devor, Director) and The ArQuives Canada’s LGBTQ2+ Archive, Toronto. Eli Holliday, MI student at the iSchool, University of Toronto, has been the Project RA. In March, 2020 we have been joined by co-applicant Dr. Chase Joynt, filmmaker.

The project interviewed 22 trans elders in the US and Canada about their histories of activism. We are currently in the process of archiving the interviews at The ArQuives and at the Transgender Archives, and providing access to the interviews and to short clips that focus on specific aspects.


Marsha Botzer – February 19th, 2020

Marsha Botzer lives in Seattle, WA, USA. At the age of 73, Botzer has served the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and progressive communities for over 41 years, including her work with the Ingersoll Gender Centre, as a founding member of Equality Washington, and on boards of Pride Foundation, Safe Schools, Lambert House, Seattle Counseling Service and the World Professional Association for Transgender Health.


Joanna Clark – December 30, 2019

Joanna Clark (USA), formerly Sister Mary Elizabeth, is an “81 and a half” year-old trans woman and military veteran. She successfully advocated for the right to change her birth certificate gender in the legislature of the United States in the 1970s. She has since worked in various arenas of LGBTQ activism, including starting the HIV educational website AEGIS in the 1980s, co-founding the Janus Information Facility, and performing legal advocacy work for incarcerated trans people with the ACLU.