The Tretter Transgender Oral History Project (TTOHP) is committed to collecting, preserving, and making available oral histories of gender transgression, broadly understood through a trans framework.

The first phase of the TTOHP (2015-2018) was led by Andrea Jenkins—who went on to become the first Black transgender woman serving in elected office in the U.S.—and documented the life stories and experiences of transgender and gender non-conforming people, with a focus on the upper Midwest as well as those who are often excluded from the historical record, specifically trans people of color, undocumented trans people, trans elders, as well as others. These oral histories (numbering 185 in total) are posted online. There is also an online exhibit about Phase 1.

The second phase of the TTOHP (2019-2021) focuses on trans politics, activist movements, and strategy debates. Trans movements for justice demand a fundamental transformation of our society, which compels adherence to racialized gender norms and punishes those who transgress those norms. Trans movements have challenged those norms and the institutions that uphold and enforce them. In addition, trans movements have offered us new language and frameworks for thinking about gender, justice, embodiment, public space, policing, healthcare, solidarity, and queerness. Documenting the debates, organizations, and organizers that constitute this important and transformative force for social change is the goal of the second phase of the TTOHP.

For more information about the project, please contact Myrl Beam, the Oral Historian for Phase 2 of the TTOHP, at Or call the Tretter at 612-624-7526. 

Tretter Transgender Oral History Project Videos and Transcripts Online


Tretter Transgender Oral History Project Online Exhibition


Publications about the Tretter Transgender Oral History Project

The Transgender Oral History Project is funded in large part by a grant from Tawani Foundation. The project has also received support from a Headwaters Foundation for Justice Community Innovation Grant, and from individual donors.


~Want to make a financial contribution to the Tretter Collection? Donate online today!~