Project

The Transgender Internet

Program

ACLS Fellowship Program

Abstract

Bringing together transgender theory and computer history, "The Transgender Internet" traces the role of gender-variant individuals in the design and implementation of digital network technologies between the 1960s and the 1990s. The construction and emergence of pseudonymous digital communities helped to facilitate new forms of trans activism, but it also marked a turn towards a predominantly white and professionalized transgender politics during this period. By understanding the motivations of figures who prioritized industry diversity trainings over activist rallies, "The Transgender Internet" challenges Transgender Studies to understand trans history not just as a genealogy of resistance, but also as messily enmeshed with hegemonic political formations and information systems.