Chase Strangio

Interviewed By Michelle Esther O'Brien

Chase Strangio discusses his work as a leading LGBTQ legal advocate with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), including his representation of and connection to well-known former political prisoner and trans woman Chelsea Manning. Strangio reflects on the rise of anti-trans legislation nationally, the missteps of the LGBTQ rights movement, and the limits and role of legal advocacy in social movements. As well, Strangio recounts their own growing up, politicization and radicalization, and his prior work with the Sylvia Rivera Law Project (SRLP).

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National Headquarters, ACLU (00:43)


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Interview Data

Date of Interview
October 12, 2018
Location of Interview
ACLU office in New York City
Place of birth
Boston, Massachusetts
Birth Year
he/him, they/them
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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.