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 five 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 year. (See last year’s progress report here.) Below, we are pleased to update you on the progress we have made during the 2020-2021 academic year. This report was prepared by S4TJ Chair Dr. Maggie Nanney and the S4TJ Executive Council; you may reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org. And, during the year you can stay up to date with our efforts through our Google groups listserv.
S4TJ CHAIR’S REPORT
(Chair: Maggie Nanney)
S4TJ Chair Position and Executive Council
We completed our second year with a new organizational structure including an Executive Council (EC) working together to make decisions. Daniel Laurison 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; Kit Myers 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.
In concordance with our mission, we issued two public statements: the Statement on Anti-Asian Violence and Racial Justice and the Statement on Recent Legislation Targeting Trans Youth with the accompanying #ProtectTransYouth Reader.
S4TJ TREASURER REPORT
(Treasurer: Dustin Rollins)
As voted upon by S4TJ membership, this year the EC worked to put together a system to collect annual membership dues. These dues, based on a sliding scale, and were collected via the financial application CashApp. We collected $350. Unfortunately, there was a significant data breach and the S4TJ account was hacked, leaving only $100 in the account. Working with Customer Service and the fraud department, the S4TJ Treasurer took extra measures to close the account and EC will work to find a new and more secure platform for dues in the upcoming year.
S4TJ COMMITTEE REPORTS
For the 2020-2021 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: Kit Myers & Blu Buchanan
Syllabus and Teaching Committee
Members: Carey Jean Sojka, Rosalind Kichler, Derek Siegel, Liam Lair, Davida Schiffer, Davina Barbee, Jen Reck, Julian Honkasalo
- Create S4TJ Bibliography: an extended list of sociological research on trans topics (living document)
- Create S4TJ Syllabus: an updated version of the syllabus that focuses and centers on the intersection of trans and racial justice (living document)
- Create 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]
- Updated S4TJ Syllabus with focus on intersections of trans and racial justice completed and ready for use. To be released during Fall 2021.
- Began to shift the original 2017 Syllabus to the S4TJ Bibliography.
- Press release and/or Zoom launch party for updated Syllabus
- Work with Inside Higher Ed to run a post about the need for the Syllabus
- Continue to update the S4TJ Trans Bibliography to bring it up to date + find a method to maintain the document
Writing Workshop Committee
Members: Angela Towne, Sarah Steele, Wynn Strange, Penny Harvey, Katherine Mueller, Jennifer Lai, Kemma Kraus
- Put together opportunities for scholars in trans, non-binary, and intersex studies to share writing (including articles, chapters, and grant proposals) and get feedback.
- Successfully ran a 2-day virtual writing symposium “Publish Me” during August 2021
- Topics included: When and Where to Submit, Dealing with Reviewers, Reaching a Wide Audience, Collaborative Writing, Q&A with Journal Editors, and manuscript workshop
- Developed new Intersex and BIPOC inclusive “branding” for S4TJ
- Publicized and organized Virtual S4TJ Writing Groups
- 7 virtual Writing Groups were filled but had groups had trouble meeting due to various reasons.
- Maintained Facebook writing group/page
- Currently at 147 members
- Hosted weekly Monday goals and Friday “ta-da” posts
- Develop “ground rules” for online writing group forum to allow for safe, welcoming and open discussion and support of all members
- To increase participation and group consistency, consider implementing one or more of the following:
- Further engagement on Facebook or a Discord server
- Monthly check-ins (facilitated by a “host”)
- Monthly writing retreats (several hours to work on writing projects together)
- Scheduling check-ins or retreats in advance so that dates are on people’s calendars
- Putting together a “reviewer” pool so that people can submit pieces for feedback, and provide feedback in turn
- Could get more thoughts on this idea at 2021 Writing Symposium, e.g., ask for feedback during the last few minutes of sessions
- Could follow emergent, anarchist organizational process
- Could also follow the arrangement of taking turns to submit pieces, everyone is assigned a specific day, everyone else provides feedback
- Consider whether a more formal organizational structure with leadership roles and/or commitments or, alternatively, a more “drop-in” style virtual writing group structure would be better suited to current challenges
- Develop a clear process for selecting, vetting, inviting, and communicating with panelists
- Develop a better process for promoting the workshop
- 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: Meg Osborn, Cavyn Mitchell, Moushumi Roy, Soledad Cutuli, Avery Beall
- 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 the 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.
- Due to the pandemic, the work of this committee was put on hold for the year and will resume for the 2021-2022 year.
- Collaborate with Writing Committee and others as necessary to develop a method for sociology journals to be trans-inclusive including name changes in online versions of articles and use of gender-neutral pronouns
- Open dialogue with journal editors to ensure that they know about our list of reviewers and are using them.
- Include update to reviewer list to include a list of places that folks have published as well as citation counts for their work
- Create a mechanism for continuous sign-up and updates for the reviewer and experts lists
Supporting Trans, Non-Binary, and Intersex Scholars
Co-Chairs: Alex Hanna & Anthony James Williams
Members: Natalie Ingram, Eli Williams, Rebecca Plante
- 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.
- Ran the mentorship program for this year and made 7 paired matches between mentors and mentees.
- In addition, created a Slack for informal mentoring conversations and support, although it hasn’t had too much activity.
- Stay the course for next year, continue providing mentorship opportunities for S4TJ members.
Best Practices Sub-committee
Members: Tanya Cook, Elliot Truslow, Meg Krausch, LuLu Geza Kelemen
- Assemble “best practices” guide for supporting trans, non-binary, and intersex students, staff, faculty and associated community members, including “Trans 101” and setting-specific best practices.
- Make guide available online and on the S4TJ website.
- Created a letter to the editors about adding different/no honorifics.
- Created a Zoom Best Practices Guide.
- Publicize letter to the editor for a broader reach– collaborate with Advancing Public Understanding committee
Graduate Student Survey Subcommittee
Members: Cameron Whitley, Sonny Nordmarken, Jess Goldstein-Kral, Simone Kolysh, GJ Hodson
- Survey on trans, non-binary, and intersex graduate students in sociology: analyze survey data, share results with the discipline, make recommendations for changes.
- Working on several papers coming out of the graduate student survey data.
- One paper on chronic misgendering of graduate students has an R&R.
- Continue to work on papers, circulate and publicize when published.
Members: Jenny Pearson, Thatcher Combs, Jessica Herling
- Make sociology conferences safe and empowering for trans, non-binary, and intersex people:
- Write a best practices statement for conferences
- Figure out what other organizations are already doing
- Propose S4TJ sponsored sessions.
- Another slow year for conferences, as ASA was not in person once again.
- The team met in November but this got deprioritized.
- Created a list of sociology organizations to reach out to, but no one was contacted.
- Jenny attended the Midwest Sociological Society kept “several LGBTQ+ initiatives going,” which she was happy to include in the report (as of March 2021).
- Try again next year.
Advancing Public Understanding of Trans, Non-binary, and Intersex Issues
Co-Chairs: Sam Scovill & Daniel Laurison
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 completed the S4TJ social media policy as well as a policy for the S4TJ blog that was started last year. Additionally, the subcommittees have worked on updating our various social media pages as well as the S4TJ blog.