Amaree Jael

Interviewed By Elliott Maya

Amaree Jael recounts their life growing up in New York City as a transmasculine person of color. Beginning on 125th Street between 5th and Lennox, Amaree describes their early life in a changing neighborhood and an emotionally withholding biological family. They discuss school as a time of social discomfort and intellectual growth, learning the nuances of moving through the world as Black, queer, and trans. They spend time describing their needs from and contributions to community, whether it be in physical space or on social media, and how the various communities they have been involved in have fulfilled those needs or left them wanting. Touching on issues of representation, visibility, community, activism, and education, Amaree provides a young, Black, queer, trans voice born and raised in New York City. (Summary by Micah Katz.)

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19 years old (00:18)
Trans-Male (00:21)
the Bronx (00:24)
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New York City (00:57)
Manhattan (01:00)
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Janet Mock (49:21)
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Carmen Carrera (50:06)
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Problematic (50:35)
Black (50:49)
Latinx (50:54)

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Interview Data

Date of Interview
August 15, 2016
Location of Interview
Alex Salerno's home
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About This Collection

NYC Trans Oral History Project

NYPL's Community Oral History Project is teaming up with the NYC Trans Oral History Project to collect, preserve, and share oral histories from our city's transgender and gender non-conforming communities. 

We'll be training a community corps of interviewers to collect these largely undocumented oral histories in order to build a lasting and expansive archive on NYC transgender experiences.

About the NYC Trans Oral History Project:

We are a collective, community archive working to document transgender resistance and resilience in New York City. We work to confront the erasure of trans lives and to record diverse histories of gender as intersecting with race and racism, poverty, dis/ability, aging, housing migration, sexism, and the AIDS crisis. 

We are inspired by the public history activism of the ACT UP oral history project to build knowledge as a part of our anti-oppression work. We believe oral history is a powerful part of social justice work, and that building an alternative archive of transgender histories can transform our organizing for transgender liberation. 

You can listen to interviews, search interviews tags (like #genderfluidity #self-knowledge #gentrification and #queerfamily), and soon read transcripts. We hope the interviews and tags will preserve and proliferate new knowledges about trans and gender non-conforming experiences.

Content warning: Many of the interviews here include personal accounts of violence, sexual assault, abuse as children, or trauma.