Illustration by Meher Yeda
Filling a gap in trans scholarship that centers trans life, the Bulletin of Applied Transgender Studies published its first double issue this month.
BATS is the first journal led by an entirely trans editorial board and is one of three journals focusing on trans scholarship. Northwestern Libraries and the Center for Applied Transgender Studies, a nonprofit research organization that aims to highlight work by and for trans people, published the issue.
Communication Prof. T.J. Billard is the editor of the journal and the executive director of the center. Billard said in a University news release that readers can expect articles that address the importance of trans studies, covering topics ranging from trans activism in India to the intersection of trans identity and autism.
“It’s also about the importance of rigorous and verified trans knowledge that can inform public policy right now,” Billard said. “As anti-transgender advocates peddling misinformation are trying to shape policy, it’s our responsibility as academics to shape it in helpful ways.”
Across the country, politicians have introduced a flurry of anti-trans legislation in state and national legislatures that aims to censor school curriculums and restrict healthcare access, sports participation, facility use and more for transgender youth.
Chris Diaz, the NU digital publishing librarian, said the journal is free, unlike many other journals. For Billard, this accessibility is crucial to helping increase trans representation and provide more resources to scholars interested in trans studies.
“There’s nowhere to publish about the material realities of trans life, especially not open access,” Billard said. “We have an important opportunity to change what the trans studies landscape looks like and set the publishing standard for other universities.”
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