Kai Pelton

Interviewed By Elliot Maya

Kai Pelton is a co-facilitator of the Trans-Generational Theatre Project, a community initiative in NYC for trans-folk. Here, the 21 y.o. New York City native describes their journey as a trans person of color from the perspective of a lifelong fine and performing artist who emphasizes natural expression. This interview takes you through Kai’s coming-of-age transformation from an "awkward caterpillar" who is unsure of who they were to a "beautiful butterfly" who realizes their authentic self through emotional and energetic expression and gender fluidity. (Summary by Sydnee Novack.)

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artist (00:32)
art forms (00:37)
music (00:43)
vocals (00:53)
theatre (00:54)
visual art (00:57)
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Transcript

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Interview Data

Date of Interview
July 17, 2017
Location of Interview
Brooklyn, NY
Place of birth
New York, New York
Gender Pronouns
they / them she / her
Birth Year
1996
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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.