University of Minnesota Captures Transgender Experiences

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(AP) The University of Minnesota has published the first batch of videos in a project aimed at capturing the stories of transgender people in the Midwest.

University oral historian Andrea Jenkins has recorded interviews with 119 transgender people, discussing how they came to find their gender identity as well as broader issues affecting their community, the Pioneer Press reported.

More than 10 of the interviews have been published online through the university's Jean-Nickolaus Tretter Collection in Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Studies.

"All of the stories are deeply poignant, moving, beautiful,'' Jenkins said. ``The resiliency is one of the key themes that I keep seeing.''

Jenkins, who has been out as transgender for 25 years, wanted subjects who reflected a variety of gender identities and sexual orientations, as well as people of color, people with disabilities and people living the country without legal permission.

She said she's already received about 60 different answers on people's gender identity.

In the interviews, Jenkins explored what it could mean to be transgender 50 years from now, because the currently high accessibility of hormone therapy and gender confirmation surgery means many people are transitioning in their youth.

"I think that transgender identity won't go away, but the way that transgender people come to their identity is going to be much different,'' she said. ``It won't be as public. It won't be as painful.''

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