Invisible name changes
For today's transgender day of visibility I would like to talk about the importance of invisibility. Or rather, the importance of being able to choose when and how to make oneself visible as trans, and to whom. For many trans scholars, the freedom to make this choice hinges on the ability to invisibly change their name on publications that were published under their previous name. It's either that, or write those publications off completely, losing the citations and impact scores along with them.
Archiving pirate genders
bell hooks (1991) explained how articulating marginalised experiences and worldviews in the form of theory could be used in liberatory ways. As transgender people, we are repeatedly told by society and the medical establishment that we don't know our own genders and identities. We have conversations amongst ourselves, pushing back against this message and articulating our experiences with gender and embodiment. These conversations are increasingly being used to develop the kind of liberatory theory hooks speaks about in the emerging field of transgender studies. Ever since the development of the internet, many of these conversations have taken place online. I'm interested in exploring the information management and archiving practices participants in these conversations use to organise and preserve digital records of these conversations, as well as how those records are being used by critical thinkers and theorists. I'm going to do this with a case study: examining the information management practices associated with the pirate gender on the platform Tumblr.
Working from home: information and privacy challenges
Like many GLAM sector workers, I've been working from home since the end of March 2020. This means that instead of being in an office full of colleagues who are other information professionals, I'm working next door to my partner, who is an allied health professional. This situation has brought us some information management challenges.
Invasion day 2021: online learning for liberation
Today is a day of protest and mourning for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. If I didn't have disabilities that prevented me from doing so, I would have taken the day off work to join the Jewish bloc and marched in solidarity at the Invasion Day demo. That's not possible with my chronic health conditions though, so I decided I didn't need the time off work today. Instead, my conditions of employment state that I'm permitted to substitute one public holiday per year for a cultural or religious day of significance. So I substituted today's public holiday for the second day of Pesach on 29 March. Pesach is a festival of liberation, when I will be celebrating, discussing, and thinking about how to work towards the liberation of all peoples, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Your data is invalid: Collecting data on sex, gender, and sexuality
I've written previously about how I've acquired knowledge through my lived experiences with gender that I believe makes me a better information professional. One example of this is my experiences participating in research in which I am marginalised and erased because of my gender history. This makes me aware of the ways in which the resulting datasets fail to capture the experiences of trans and gender diverse (TGD) research participants, which means that the TGD population are not represented by and do not benefit from the outcomes of that research. Because of these experiences, I am inclined to centre the interests of research participants, communities, and society in my data curation practice.
Don't judge a homeless book by its cover
The following is a guest post by my dear friend and found family member, who is an Aspiring Librarian. We met at synagogue and bonded over the fact that we were marginalised within our religious community as men who are attracted to men, while also being marginalised within the gay community due to having chronic health conditions and disabilities. During the time I've known Aspiring Librarian, he became homeless and lived for some time in a refuge. Within the last year I encountered a couple of cases of librarians asking questions about delivering services to people who are experiencing homelessness. Knowing that Aspiring Librarian is a passionate self-taught learner, avid reader, and regular library patron, I suspected he might have some opinions to share on the subject, so offered to give him a platform to do so here.