The New York City Trans Oral History Project is a community archive devoted to the collection, preservation and sharing of trans histories, organized in collaboration with the New York Public Library.
Our archive documents transgender resistance and resilience in New York City. We work to confront the erasure of trans lives and to record diverse histories of gender as intersecting with race and racism, poverty, dis/ability, aging, housing migration, sexism, and the AIDS crisis. We privilege the insights of vulnerable trans communities fighting the structural dismantling of public benefits, housing insecurity and homelessness, policing, and surveillance.
Recorded interviews with trans New Yorkers are accessible via major listening platforms. We welcome new contributions from volunteer interviewers and narrators; our handbook provides history, context, and training for those interested in participating and learning more about the role of oral history in community activism. Anyone who identifies as trans / gender non conforming and as a sometime resident of New York City is invited to contribute an interview. All interviews are accessible to the public and part of the Creative Commons license for free and open use. Most of our interviewers are transcribed. We use an expansive tagging system to identify keywords and terms.
We are a volunteer organization, founded in 2014 through deep conversation with community organizations. We are grateful to a broad network of peer to peer interviewers, and many others who have donated their time and experience to build the archive. Over the years our project has flourished from the support and participation of many volunteers and core organizers. Our project has been supported by partnerships with the New York Public Library and the Digital Transgender Archive and by funding from the Trans Justice Funding Project.