Joseph, Abram

Interviewed By Ric Tennenbaum

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Ric Tennenbaum (00:01)
July 19, 2017 (00:17)
Soho, Manhattan (00:21)
Providence (00:38)
1984 (00:40)
Fox Point (00:46)
middle class family (00:56)
misanthropic kid (01:32)
music (01:42)
bass (01:45)
orchestra and jazz (01:53)
Red Hot Chili Peppers (02:13)
traditional upper middle-class white family (02:41)
conservative household (02:55)
"no sex 'til you're married" (03:07)
religious (03:15)
Episcopalian church (03:16)
christianity (03:29)
queers (03:47)
lgbt life (04:02)
Episcopal queers (04:14)
the happening (04:37)
Jesus Camp (04:54)
self-awareness of queerness (05:29)
Ani DiFranco (05:42)
Dar Williams (05:51)
Boston folk scene (05:53)
Ani DiFranco lesbians (05:57)
self-aware queerness (06:08)
early childhood (06:20)
normative trans narrative (06:23)
tomboy (06:51)
high school (07:07)
masculine gender, puberty (07:16)
heterosexuality (07:22)
music and reading (09:09)
books (09:13)
femininity (09:39)
puberty (10:00)
bad feelings (10:19)
embarrassment (10:20)
fooled (10:24)
self aware (10:33)
problem around bathroom use (11:02)
high-achieving (11:09)
get in trouble (11:13)
elementary school and middle school (11:20)
restroom (11:25)
girls' room (11:27)
self aware (12:07)
queer sexuality (12:12)
definitely bisexual, maybe a lesbian (12:31)
not livable (12:33)
hired (12:46)
job at coffeeshop (12:49)
barista (13:05)
hipster glasses (13:25)
wore a lot of black (13:38)
fit in (13:41)
lesbians (13:45)
independent coffee shops (13:51)
queer elders (14:36)
academic (14:43)
imperative of confession (14:52)
Foucault (14:54)
older dykes (15:11)
assumed to be queer (15:17)
coming out (15:31)
growing up before internet (16:02)
gay book, library (16:04)
independent video stores (16:08)
inverted triangle (16:13)
films (16:16)
queer literature (16:44)
Lilian Faderman (16:52)
information gathering (16:58)
But I'm a Cheerleader (17:09)
Boys Don't Cry (17:27)
cultural spaces (17:50)
counter-cultural space (17:55)
Providence (17:59)
bass (18:13)
orchestra (18:33)
principle of the section (18:39)
Abandoned Tree Car: The Piece (19:37)
non-normative gender (20:10)
imparting bad feelings on others (20:13)
butches (20:38)
bad feelings from peers (20:56)
beating up (20:59)
teacher call mom (21:09)
gender policing (21:25)
eighteen (21:48)
leave hometown (21:49)
applying to colleges (21:52)
got into Columbia University (22:13)
pre- freshman orientaton (22:29)
publicly gay (22:48)
"I'm gay!" (23:10)
disappointed (23:34)
normie people at Columbia (23:41)
future leaders of America (23:45)
lesbians (24:31)
Kate McKinnon (24:33)
SNL (24:37)
Ghostbusters (24:39)
You're a lesbian? I'm a lesbian (24:53)
crush (24:57)
politically minded (25:12)
college (25:21)
activist groups (25:38)
got to New York City (25:47)
lesbian bars Meow Mix (25:50)
Columbia (26:08)
started college 2002 (26:31)
graduated 2006 (26:35)
Henrietta Hudson (26:58)
Hudson street (27:01)
bridge and tunnel (27:03)
Jersey (27:11)
gender conforming professional (27:25)
activism at Columbia (27:54)
ethnic studies group "Speak" (28:02)
comparative ethnic studies (28:18)
Reina Gossett (28:31)
first girlfriend (28:44)
Audre Lorde Project (29:13)
Alexis Gumbs (29:17)
black queer feminist (29:22)
feminism and philosophy class (30:08)
women's studies (30:12)
Christia Mercer (30:21)
draw to feminism (30:26)
intellection (30:29)
Gender Trouble (30:46)
stupid (31:00)
Plato (31:26)
differences between men and women (31:30)
social orders (31:32)
relief (31:39)
pathological dysfunctional person (31:55)
majoring in gender studies (32:20)
continental philosophy (32:30)
Foucault (32:36)
philosophy classes (32:42)
bar in lower east side (33:19)
Girls Room (33:20)
Caddyshack (34:02)
Park Slope (34:07)
smoke (34:38)
despondent (34:44)
Bloomberg (34:45)
Smoking ban (34:47)
butch (35:11)
beautiful femme (35:32)
epiphany moments (35:43)
Judith Butler (35:44)
dating femme (35:53)
lipstick lesbian (36:23)
interpellated (36:39)
butch-femme (36:52)
management (37:02)
approaches to dealing with other people's bad feelings (37:04)
butch (37:14)
beautiful women (37:29)
identify as butch (37:45)
butch-femme (37:59)
butch me up (38:47)
psychological hold (38:57)
crossdressing laws (39:01)
signifiers (39:06)
Amber Hollibaugh (39:53)
Stone Butch Blues (39:57)
Well of Loneliness (40:01)
lesbian (40:08)
Ann Cvetkovich (40:13)
lesbian canonical texts (40:32)
trans (41:30)
compulsory (41:51)
butch, and genderqueer, and trans (42:34)
harassment, discrimination, street (43:05)
harassed in NYC (43:23)
violence against queer people (43:25)
violence against queer POC (43:26)
physical violence (43:39)
interracial relationship (43:46)
intersectional thing (43:57)
obvious queerness (44:00)
interracial status (44:02)
visibly queer (44:04)
hate speech (44:07)
men of color (45:45)
race traitor (45:49)
Staten Island Ferry (45:56)
racial identity (46:22)
ally sensibility (46:31)
not holding hands (46:46)
neighborhood (47:21)
subway (47:32)
subway stations (47:33)
reluctant trans (48:23)
Sylvia Rivera Law Project (48:33)
trans politics (49:04)
call me "he" (49:38)
trans masc (50:02)
college-educated (50:10)
race politics around transmasculine identities (50:27)
male pronouns (50:37)
call me "she" (50:43)
NYC in early 2000s (51:12)
other trans people (51:39)
Nowhere Bar (52:14)
East Village (52:17)
Manhunt (trans men night) (52:28)
Grindr (52:40)
trans women (52:59)
app ManHunt (53:06)
smartphone (53:09)
not get jobs (54:04)
breakup with girlfriend (54:10)
intelligibility for butch (54:29)
Flatbush (54:39)
unemployment (54:42)
misanthropic (54:52)
first job out of college (55:05)
bike messenger (55:07)
bike (55:13)
permanent gig (55:58)
job rejection (56:04)
job interviews (56:37)
men's suit (56:44)
gender (57:25)
bike messangering (57:29)
class (57:35)
shitty clothes (57:44)
service workers (57:48)
bike messenger (57:58)
police (58:10)
bougie and white (58:15)
ID (58:33)
going into building (58:35)
security guards (58:44)
ID (58:56)
birth name (58:57)
medical transition (59:25)
body (59:42)
testosterone (01:00:05)
passing (01:00:20)
current name (01:00:23)
union (01:00:41)
labor politics (01:07:50)
grad school (01:08:42)
Christina Hanhardt (01:09:46)
butch mentor (01:09:54)
University of Minnesota (01:10:36)
Minneapolis (01:10:45)
depression (01:11:17)
Midwest (01:11:41)
history of sexuality (01:12:10)
academic career track (01:12:15)
academia (01:13:02)
writing (01:14:24)
dissertation (01:15:02)
country music (01:15:08)
Brooklyn (01:15:43)
not sceney (01:16:57)
queer country scenes (01:17:22)
bad feelings in country music (01:17:46)
poverty, abjection (01:18:44)
substance use (01:18:54)
bad feelings=queer feelings (01:19:07)
Julian Brolaski (01:19:21)
breaking your voice (01:19:36)
Judith Butler (01:20:02)
loss (01:20:03)
disaggregation of self (01:20:45)
queerness in blues (01:21:54)
The Cukoo (01:22:15)
being professor (01:22:59)
reasons for going into academia (01:23:20)
trans studies (01:24:42)
trans students (01:25:33)
research and teaching (01:26:43)
SUNY Purchase (01:27:31)
Grinnell (01:27:36)
Northwestern University (01:27:46)
married (01:28:17)
Episcopal church and gay marriage (01:28:40)
cohabitation (01:29:35)
institution regulating sexuality (01:32:09)
top surgery (01:32:52)
changing birth certificate and passport (01:32:58)
good doctors, Michael Braunstein (01:33:42)
passport policy in early 2000's (01:35:04)
SRLP (Sylvia Rivera Law Project) (01:35:09)
informal tip-sharing for document change (01:35:15)
DMV (01:35:25)
financial privilege (01:36:08)
trans healthcare (01:36:32)
rural Iowa (01:37:33)
needles (01:38:40)
using injectables (01:39:36)
suspicious people (01:39:44)
back problem (01:40:16)
small town (01:41:07)
meteronormative (01:41:57)
Chicago (01:42:14)
"I'm a very gender conforming white man." (01:42:17)
lgbt health center (01:42:55)
institutionalization of trans (01:43:46)
oral history work (01:44:07)
Jeanne Vacaro (01:45:35)
Reina Gossett (01:45:42)
public presence (01:47:13)
public programming (01:47:15)
interviews (01:47:17)
building relationships (01:47:24)
community based oral history archive (01:47:57)
archive that centers subaltern identites (01:48:10)
NYPL (New York Public Library) (01:48:46)
Michelle O'Brien (01:49:55)
institutional access to academia (01:55:31)
The Trans Immigration Project (01:58:34)
writing book (01:59:35)
tenure track job (01:59:36)

Transcript

Transcript not yet available. .

Interview Data

Date of Interview
July 19, 2017
Location of Interview
SoHo, Manhattan, New York
Place of birth
Providence, Rhode Island
Occupations
Prof
Gender Pronouns
He
Birth Year
1984
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.