Jamie Bauer

Interviewed By Michelle Esther O'Brien

Jamie Bauer recounts their childhood and adolescence growing up in New York City’s Stuyvesant Town, resisting family pressure to conform to normative gender expressions and discovering butch femme culture in the Village. They discuss finding political and social community as a college student in Boston engaged in gay rights organizing, and, later, as part of Women’s Pentagon Action in New York City. They chronicle their involvement in ACT UP, describing the group’s culture and interpersonal dynamics, memorable direct actions, and shifts in its strategies and goals, as well as the broader political climate of the ‘80s and ‘90s. Jamie also details the evolution of their own non-binary transmasculine identity alongside the increased visibility of the transgender movement, and the complexities of negotiating their relationship with their longtime partner, choices related to their transition, and their queer identity. (Summary by Justine Ambrose.)

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voice change (01:23:58)
menopause (01:24:37)
hysterectomy (01:24:50)
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drugs (01:25:33)
activism (01:26:18)
Rise and Resist (01:26:38)
U.S. presidential election of 2016 (01:27:08)
Donald J. Trump (01:27:11)
out (01:27:40)
queer identity (01:27:41)
trans identity (01:27:45)
education (01:28:07)
anti-Trump (01:28:22)
pronouns (01:28:47)
they/them/their (01:32:38)
gender nonconformity (01:32:39)
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Transcript

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Interview Data

Date of Interview
June 5, 2017
Location of Interview
NYU Department of Sociology
Place of birth
New York, NY
Occupations
New York City Transit
Birth Year
1958
Gender Pronouns
They
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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.