Gender Underground: A History of Trans DIY


ACLS Fellowship Program




“Gender Underground” reframes twentieth-century transgender history by critiquing the racial and class inequities of US institutional medicine and documenting the do-it-yourself practices that allowed transgender people to forge parallel worlds of transition. Beginning in the 1940s, when doctors would not provide the healthcare requested by transgender people, the project uncovers an underground tradition of inventive access to hormones, surgery, and care for the self and others, as well as the first clinics and counseling groups formed by and for transgender people. “Gender Underground” argues for a “DIY transgender studies” that affirms practices of survival, archiving, and worldmaking from the least visible positions, including those of transgender people of color and economically vulnerable members of the trans community.