Why does it seem like there are so many more transgender people today than there were ten years ago? Where were they before Caitlyn Jenner and Laverne Cox became regular fixtures on TV? This lecture will take an historical approach to answering these questions, starting with an overview of what it means to be a member of the transgender community today then looking back through history at how that has shifted over time. From the stars of the 1870s vaudeville stage to multi-decade-long debates within the American Psychiatric Association to activists in the gay rights movement, the presentation will weave together stories of key figures in U.S. transgender history and the broader cultural and political shifts that paved the way for Caitlyn and Laverne to come into the national spotlight.
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