J. Soto

Interviewed By M. Henry Milks

J. Soto recounts his evolving understanding of gender and identity along his eastward migration across the United States. Born and raised in the Bay Area, J. attended graduate school in Chicago, IL before moving to Brooklyn where he currently works as an artist who produces both written and performed works. J. describes the nuanced relationship he shares with his family, informed by their experience as working class, Catholic, Mormon and of Mexican descent. He also discusses the production of art work, the nature of community and family, and the role of language in understanding and describing identity. (Summary by Micah Katz.)

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Coming of Age (01:00:00)
1990s (01:00:02)

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Interview Data

Date of Interview
October 20, 2016
Location of Interview
Crown Heights, Brooklyn, New York
Place of birth
Provo, Utah
Occupations
Arts non-profit coordinator
Gender Pronouns
He/Him/His/They/Them
Birth Year
1979
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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.