Anna Keyes

Interviewed By Elliott Maya

Anna Keyes discusses the textured and representational aspects of her films, her process of self realization and the embodiment of her womanhood through online community, her family and being out in the world; owning her process as well as recognizing the tension of "passing" as an ideal. Identifying puberty as a "process of coming into one's own humanity", Anna examines the experience of her second puberty as girlhood into womanhood. (Summary by Kirsten Adorian.)

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Elliott Maya (00:01)
Anna Keyes (00:03)
Trans Oral History Project (00:06)
transgender woman (00:31)
undergrad (00:34)
film maker (00:38)
Emerson College (00:44)
Boston (00:47)
male-presenting (01:00)
social media (03:01)
Bad Femmes (03:05)
non-binary (03:10)
femme (03:19)
trans-godmother (03:47)
hormones (04:01)
public life (05:26)
filter (05:27)
repress (05:29)
Queer Theory (05:53)
double life (06:01)
Picture of Dorian Grey (06:02)
dress (07:20)
peeling-away process (07:53)
girlfriend (08:03)
clarity (09:11)
male socialization (09:29)
femme art (10:21)
gallery (10:23)
invasive (10:25)
cis women (11:02)
girlhood (11:03)
bullied (11:50)
male persona (12:15)
Morristown (13:08)
New Jersey (13:09)
brother (15:21)
family (22:44)
mourning process (22:59)
mom (24:10)
dress (24:18)
coming out (24:28)
interview (28:32)
verbally abusive (29:12)
passing (31:13)
white privilege (32:47)
cis men (34:47)
constant process (36:48)
coming out (36:50)
non-passing (38:05)
transwomen (38:06)
mainstream media (38:10)
voice (39:58)
puberty blockers (40:19)
labor (41:29)
Bring Her Some Beauty (47:36)
personal documentary (47:45)
animation (47:46)
films (51:08)
Feather By Feather (51:09)
body (52:13)
jealousy (52:18)
otherworld (54:07)
textures (54:08)
disassociate (54:10)
Wax (55:33)
production design (55:37)
narrative arch (55:49)
Wax (55:50)
Baby Bell Cheese (59:21)
New York (01:03:08)
Silent Barn (01:04:17)
DIY (01:04:19)
Music Venue (01:04:28)
24 hour show (01:04:32)
Yasmina (01:04:49)
artist in residency (01:06:29)
clocking (01:06:33)
Boston Alliance For Gay & Lesbian Youth (01:08:28)
Fenway Health (01:11:50)
Trans-literate (01:12:02)
medical community (01:12:21)
first puberty (01:15:26)
hormones (01:15:30)
second puberty (01:15:38)
chokers (01:16:48)
fashion trend (01:16:50)
girly (01:17:43)
breasts (01:18:06)
felt right (01:19:52)
operating in the world (01:20:10)


Read transcript.

Interview Data

Date of Interview
July 14, 2017
Location of Interview
Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, New York
Place of birth
Morristown, New Jersey
Gender Pronouns
Birth Year
Rights Statement
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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.