Mapping Transmobilities: Experiences of Harassment and Violence Against Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Urban Transit Riders

Authors: Amy Lubitow*, Portland State University, Miriam Abelson*, Portland State University
Topics: Gender, Urban Geography, Transportation Geography
Keywords: transgender, urban mobility, non-hegemonic mobilities, LGBTQ violence, public transportation, transmobilities
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/13/2018
Start / End Time: 5:20 PM / 7:00 PM
Room: Grand Ballroom C, Astor, 2nd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The growing body of scholarship on transgender geographies demonstrates that incidents of harassment and other violence committed against transgender and gender nonconforming people shape their experiences of place and access to public spaces and that those experiences differ based on perceived race, class, and gender. Mobilities scholarship that focuses on the local level has served to clarify how differential access to power and resources can generate different potentials for movement and mobility, wherein marginalized groups may experience forms of ‘immobility.’ Bringing these literatures together, this paper further explicates the concept of transmobilities, which refers to a specific form of non-hegemonic mobility whereby multiple intersecting forms of oppression impact the movements, behaviors, and emotions of transgender and gender nonconforming transit users. This paper examines the experiences of transgender and gender nonconforming transit users living in the supposedly LGBTQ friendly West Coast cities of Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, and Los Angeles through a quantitative analysis of survey data from the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, coupled with analysis of qualitative interviews with transit-dependent transgender and gender nonconforming people in Portland, Oregon. Our analysis demonstrates how mobility for gender minorities is constrained in urban contexts, revealing the everyday disparities in mobility that transgender and gender nonconforming folks experience in their everyday lives.

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