Trans on Transit: Gender-Variant Geographies aboard Montréal’s Transit System

Authors: Nat Pace*, McGill University
Topics: Queer and Trans Geographies, Urban and Regional Planning, Transportation Geography
Keywords: queer, public transportation, transgender, transit justice, intersectional
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/10/2021
Start / End Time: 4:40 PM / 5:55 PM
Room: Virtual 31
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Feminist transport research demonstrates the threat of gender-based violence in public transit environments tangibly affects one's travel behaviour and mobility, but the centering of cisgender women in this work means that relatively little is known about the experiences of gender minorities. Informed by intersectional and queer theory, this project works with trans and gender-variant people in Montreal to understand how gender-variance, working in tandem with race, class, and by-law enforcement, shapes one’s ability to access transit services. Thematic analysis of testimonies collected from an online survey and transit ride-alongs reveal that fear of transit environments tangibly affects both the travel behaviour and gender expression of trans and gender-variant riders. Racialized and unhoused people are further impacted by fare evasion by-laws which allow for racial and class discrimination through “random” fare checks by transit inspectors. The project ultimately demonstrates that transgender and gender-variant people are an at-risk passenger population who must be included in broader research and policy conversations about gender-based violence in transit environments and calls for a radical reimagining of public safety planning.

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