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Being and Becoming Professionally Other

Identities, Voices, and Experiences of U.S. Trans* Academics

Erich N. Pitcher

Being and Becoming Professionally Other: Identities, Voices, and Experiences of U.S. Trans* Academics is a path-clearing book that provides a rich, in-depth account of the lived experiences of 39 transgender or trans* academics.

Despite increased visibility of trans* issues within higher education, college environments remain unfriendly, and in some cases, overtly hostile to trans* people. While there is much discussion of gender equity and faculty diversity, these conversations rarely include trans* academics’ voices. As a study participant described, trans* voices are often out of place at best—or worse, completely discounted in academe, a betwixt place.

By not fitting into a particular mold, trans* academics experience a variety of adverse events including microaggressions, outright hostility, and exclusion. These adverse experiences create a context wherein trans* academics engage in various forms of additional labor. While not necessarily unique to trans* academics, these various forms of labor provided evidence to support my assertion that trans* academics are or become professionally Other.  Given this Other status, trans* academics must form broad coalitions to bring about change within higher education organizations. Additionally, higher education leaders have an opportunity to change organizational contexts to better support trans* academics by radically re-imagining colleges and universities.

This text would be an excellent choice for graduate and undergraduate courses about gender, qualitative research methods courses, and courses about academic careers, and organizational theories.

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