Sociologists for Trans Justice


Compiled by:

Committee for Advancing Trans, Non-Binary, and Intersex Scholarship

Gabrie’l J. Atchison and Megan Nanney

Contact Information:

Should you want to contribute to Sociologists for Trans Justice or have any questions, please contact

About the Reader:

In society today, we are presented with a paradox of sorts: on one hand, there have been significant social and political advances regarding sexual orientation and gender identity . Yet, on the other hand, with increasing visibility and progress, there is also a simultaneous and almost inevitable increase in the backlash targeting the most vulnerable segments of the LGBTQ population–trans and non-binary people, and particularly Black trans and non-binary people. As of August 2020, the Human Rights Campaign has recorded at least 26 deaths of trans people in the United States due to fatal violence, the majority of whom were Black transgender women including Monika Diamond, Nina Pop, Dominique “Rem’mie” Fells, and Riah Milton. Additionally, Black trans women disproportionately experience social, economic, and political marginalization due to the lack of legal representation, barriers to gender-affirming healthcare, legal name and gender changes, physical spaces, and other seemingly neutral administrative systems that enforce narrow binary categories of gender and force people into them in order to get their basic needs met (Spade 2015). It is clear that racism, sexism, classism, ableism, homophobia, and transphobia intersect in ways that shorten the lives of Black trans people.

As outlined in the S4TJ Statement on Black Lives Matter and Racial Justice , the #TransJusticeSyllabus was identified as one key area of intervention to center scholarship on the intersections of racial justice and trans justice. The #BlackTransLivesMatter Reader has been compiled as a first step in this commitment as the Syllabus undergoes revisions. The #BlackTransLivesMatter Reader by Sociologists for Trans Justice provides a list of essential readings to contextualize, examine, and center Black trans lives in Sociology classrooms and to promote scholarship on, by, and with Black trans, non-binary, and intersex scholars. We believe that the intersection of racial justice and trans justice are integral to these sociological topics of gender, race, class, intersectionality, violence, policing, and social movements, among others. The materials listed below serve as a starting point of scholarship that we recommend instructors incorporate into their upcoming semesters to discuss topics and therefore can be used as assigned readings, in-class discussions, or as part of assignments.

How to Use this Reader:

The readings, videos, and resources listed below are listed alphabetically by style and link to the source (or free PDF if available online). This Reader should be understood as an always partial list of readings–it is meant to serve as a starting point . As such, we also encourage further engagement with trans scholarship including use of the #TransJusticeSyllabus as well as anti-racism scholarship, as both are essential to understand and work towards trans justice.

Click here to download a PDF of the Reader.

Black Trans Lives Matter Reader