Sociologists for Trans Justice (S4TJ) was founded in 2016 by Dr. Eric Anthony Grollman and Dr. Laurel Westbrook as an independent initiative to advance transgender justice in and through sociology. In the past three years, we have worked to raise public awareness about transgender, non-binary, and intersex communities, drawing upon sociological insights in trans, non-binary, and intersex studies. We have pushed the discipline of sociology to take seriously and advance scholarship on trans, non-binary, and intersex communities, and to include and support trans, non-binary, and intersex sociologists (no matter their research interests). You can see more about S4TJ here.

In order to inform the public and our colleagues about our goals and efforts (and to celebrate our victories!), we release a progress report each summer. (See last year’s progress report here.) Below, we are pleased to update you on the progress we have made during the 2019-2020 academic year. This report was prepared by S4TJ Chair Dr. Daniel Laurison and the S4TJ Executive Council; you may reach us at sociologistsfortransjustice@gmail.com. And, during the year you can stay up to date with our efforts through our Google groups listserv.

S4TJ CHAIR’S REPORT

(Chair: Daniel Laurison)

S4TJ Chair Position and Executive Council

We completed our first year with a new organizational structure including an Executive Council working together to make decisions. Laurel Westbrook served on the EC as Past Chair, Alex Hanna and Anthony James Williams as co-chairs of the Supporting Trans, Non-Binary and Intersex Scholars committee; Maggie Nanney and Blu Buchanan as co-chairs of the Advancing Traans, Non-Binary and Intersex Scholarship committee, Sam Scovill as co-chair (with Daniel Laurison) of the Advancing Public Understanding of Trans, Non-Binary and Intersex Issues committee, and Dustin Rollins as secretary/treasurer.

Public Advocacy

In concordance with our mission, we issued a public statement on our commitment to racial justice, and followed through with a brand-new Black Trans Lives Matter reader. We also issued a statement on measuring sex and gender in surveys.

Committee Reports

For the 2019-2020 academic year, our progress was made possible by the hard work of three S4TJ committees: 1) Advancing Trans, Non-Binary, and Intersex Scholarship, 2) Supporting Trans, Non-Binary, and Intersex Scholars, and 3) Advancing Public Understanding of Trans, Non- binary, and Intersex Issues. You can see a description of these positions here. Thank you to all of our committee members for their hard work this year!

Advancing Trans, Non-Binary, and Intersex Scholarship

Co-Chairs: Maggie Nanney & Blu Buchanan

One of the biggest challenges this year, aside from the pandemic, was the fact that many of our efforts needed more support. We put out multiple calls for new participants and had a number of new members join our committee half-way through the year. This allowed us to distribute the workload and collaborate as well as bring in new insights on how to best complete our tasks. Many of the tasks for our committee, in part due to restructuring and in part due to the pandemic, were put on hold half-way through this year, but we have developed plans on how to quickly start-up for the 2020-2021 S4TJ year. Committee members are excited to volunteer again for this work and pick up where this year left off!

Syllabus and Teaching Committee

Members: Carey Jean Sojka, Kate Averett, Naomi Simmons-Thorne, Hayden Fulton, Gabrie’l Atchison, Liam Lair, Derek Siegel, Rosalind Kichler
Tasks:
  • #TransJusticeSyllabus: Update syllabus as needed; publicize to sociologists, trans studies scholars, and the public.
  • Webinar: Develop a webinaron teaching trans, non-binary, and intersex studies.
Updates:
  • In accordance with the S4TJ Statement on Racial Justice, a new subcommittee was formed to develop the #BlackTransLivesMatter Reader
  • Began to regroup Syllabus committee into three tasks (which will continue in Fall 2020)
    • S4TJ Bibliography: a complete list of sociological research on trans topics
    • S4TJ Syllabus: an updated version of the syllabus that focuses and centers on the intersection of trans and racial justice
    • S4TJ Activities: a resource guide on class activities and assessments to teach trans topics; potential collaboration with Trails and/or Teaching Sociology
  • Continued developing the webinar on teaching trans, non-binary and intersex studies; began discussions with SWS and/or ASA on how to host webinar [on hold due to pandemic]
Next Steps:
  • Webinar:
    • Send out a call for webinar facilitators
    • Submit a 1-page proposal for a webinar to ASA/SWS.
    • Create webinar content/script
    • Schedule the initial ASA webinar (likely for Spring 2020).
  • Syllabus:
    • Continue working with newly formed committees to revise syllabus according to the new commitment, intended release January 2020; collaborate with bibliography committee to ensure all pieces are represented in both locations
    • Work with website coordinator to develop interactive syllabus and bibliography using WordPress features instead of just posted PDF
    • Collect resources for activities, syllabus, and bibliography efforts

Writing Workshop Committee

Members: Penny Harvey, Helana Darwin
Tasks:

Put together opportunities for scholars in trans, non-binary, and intersex studies to share writing (including articles, chapters, and grant proposals) and get feedback.

Updates:
  • Further established Facebook group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/s4tjwriting)
    • Currently at 84 members and about 2-3 requests a day
    • Weekly goals post (Mondays) and end-of-week check-ins (Fridays)
  • Began weekly informal S4TJ Write-Ins over Zoom (to be continued in Fall 2020)
  • Set up 3 virtual writing groups, with 12 participants, organized by writing topic for 2019-2020
  • Collected and published “S4TJ Successes of the Decade” detailing publication, professional, and service successes of S4TJ members
  • Conducted writing survey amongst S4TJ members and developed 2-day virtual writing symposium “Publish Me” during August 2020
    • Topics included: When and Where to Submit, Dealing with Reviewers, Reaching a Wide Audience, Collaborative Writing, Q&A with Journal Editors, and manuscript workshop
    • Panelists included: Danya Lagos, Baker Rodgers, Sonny Nordmarken, Lain Mathers, SA Smythe, Tey Meadows, Angela Jones, Austin Johnson, Georgiann Davis, J.E. Sumereau, Susan Stryker, Abraham Weil, Daniel Laurelson
    • 114 registrations to writing symposium, biggest session 78
Next Steps:
  • Needs:
    • Additional moderators for the writing group
  • Writing Workshop:
    • Develop writing assistance workshops to discuss and practice practical skills
  • Big Picture:
    • Find a way to make sure journals are trans-friendly including having appropriate titles, options for pronouns, etc.
    • Possible opportunity for collaboration between other S4TJ committees to work on this

Experts and Grants Committee

Members: Joss Greene, Nik Lampe, Meg Osborn
Tasks:
  • Trans, non-binary, and intersex studies peer-reviewers: Continue to recruit potential peer reviewers; create a mechanism for continuous sign-up; share the list with journal editors; find a way to keep list accessible and updated for the long-term.
  • List of trans, non-binary, and intersex studies experts: Maintain and recruit experts to be listed; advertise the list to the media; connect experts with the media, particularly on trans- and intersex-related current events. Share this list with ASA and other sociology organizations, and encourage listed experts to add their names to these organizations’ databases of experts.
  • List of grants for trans, non-binary, and intersex studies scholars: Maintain and update the list of available grants and fellowships; when needed, apply for grants to fund S4TJ projects.
Updates:
  • Created a revised/updated version of the peer reviewer list with contact information, titles, and research interests.
  • Discussed ways to push editors to approach editors and encourage them to publish more trans scholarship.
  • Made initial plans for organizing an ASA workshop focused on grant writing and getting feedback on grant applications. [NOTE: This was put on hold but we are still interested in potentially organizing this for a future conference.]
Next Steps:
  • Contact journal editors and offer to share the updated version of the peer reviewer list in Fall 2020.
  • Continue to add new people to the peer reviewer list and update as necessary.
    • Find a way to easily update the list annually.
  • Reach out to S4TJ members who have succeeded in securing grant funding and ask them to share tips/advice/example materials. Put together a shareable folder with these resources and distribute it to other S4TJ members.
  • Organize ASA workshop on grant writing; reach out to people who might be interested in participating or sharing advice/resources.

Supporting Trans, Non-Binary, and Intersex Scholars

Co-Chairs: Alex Hanna & Anthony James Williams

Mentorship Sub-committee

Members: Natalie Ingraham, Rebecca Plante
Tasks:
  • Mentoring program – run program; provide mentors with best practices for supporting trans, non-binary, and intersex graduate students and junior faculty.
  • Work with other sociology mentoring programs to better include and support trans, non-binary, and intersex scholars.
Updates:

The mentorship subcommittee was not able to implement the mentorship program this year prior to ASA.

Next Steps:

The committee will work on sending out mentorship program solicitation surveys Fall 2020. If there are enough available mentors, matches will be sent out the first week in early Spring and these will cover the 2021-2022 school year to avoid over-burdening faculty mentors who are balancing remote teaching and other responsibilities.

Best Practices Sub-committee

Members: Kit Myers, Dakota Kane, Tangent Raynes, Emily McKendry-Smith, Kris De Welde
Tasks:

Assemble “best practices” guide for supporting trans, non-binary, and intersex students, staff, faculty and associated community members, including “Trans 1010” and setting-specific best practices. Make guide available online and on the S4TJ website.

Updates:
Next Steps:

Collaborate with Syllabus and Teaching subcommittee on a webinar to showcase guides, best practices, and the S4TJ Syllabus.

Graduate Student Survey Subcommittee

Members: Simone Kolysh, Cameron Whitley, Jess Goldstein-Kral, Sonny Nordmarken

The Agenda-Setting Function of Mass Media

Tasks:

Survey on trans, non-binary, and intersex graduate students in sociology: analyze survey data, share results with the discipline, make recommendations for changes.

Updates:

This year, we worked on cleaning, coding, and analyzing the survey data, collected between 10/8/2018 and 6/15/2019. We created infographics on trans grad students’ experiences with public bathrooms and conferences and drafted a working paper.

Next steps:

In this next year, we will work toward publishing this paper, drafting and submitting more papers and infographics, and publishing a general report on the survey results. Additionally, we plan to share our results on conference accessibility with the S4TJ Conferences and Best Practices Subcommittees and ASA in order to improve conference procedures.

Conferences Subcommittee

Members: Griffin Lacy, Ash Scarborough, Sarah Miller, ashley green, Moushumi Roy

The Agenda-Setting Function of Mass Media

Update:

2020 has not been a good year for conferences.

The Agenda-Setting Function of Mass Media

Advancing Public Understanding of Trans, Non-binary, and Intersex Issues

Co-Chairs: Sam Scovill & Daniel Laurison

Members: Jaime Hartless, Krystina Millar, Ali Greey, Cary Costello, Jay Sorensen

The Agenda-Setting Function of Mass Media

Update:

This year has been focused on maintaining the existing website and updating where needed, supporting and advertising the work of the other committees. The committee has developed a draft social media policy for when/how/what we should be posting on social media. And finally, the committee cleaned up the Facebook site moderators in order to streamline the posting of new content.