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Transgender Studies: Literature in an Evolving Field (March 2022): Conclusion

By Robert Ridinger


The information landscape of trans studies reflects the rapid coalescence of the field since the 1990s. Its growth is signaled by definitions of terminologies necessary to write about it; bringing together significant issues to establish it as a distinct field of study; the importance of personal accounts written (thus far ) by trans people (whether FTM or MTF ); and the integration of the new field into periodical publishing and the global archival landscape. One notable and somewhat problematic feature of the existing literature is that many of the resources are based on data from, or lives lived in, North America and Europe—suggesting that transgenderism is not a worldwide phenomenon. But a 2021 scan of the collections of the Library of Congress for materials on “transgender people” yielded reports on the legal rights of and discrimination against trans persons in twenty-six countries in both hemispheres. This sample indicates the need for extensive bibliographic investigation of this literature in a future essay. For now the literature on trans people and their issues can best be tracked through Human Rights Watch and other activist organizations with worldwide reach.