I am a healthcare activist, punk musician, and feminist researcher, specialising in transgender studies and community development.
I completed my PhD at the University of Warwick in 2016. My thesis looked at how trans health is differently understood within trans community spaces, activist groups and professional literatures, and how this can have important consequences for access to care. I have written a book based on this work: Understanding Trans Health.
In addition to trans health, my research interests include ethnography and autoethnography, internet studies, women and gender studies, feminist and queer theory, and trans cultural studies. I have written extensively on these topics, plus edited two books (The Emergence of Trans and TERF Wars) as well as special issues of the International Journal of Transgender Health (Fertility, reproduction and body autonomy) and Sexualities (Trans Genealogies).
I am currently a lecturer at a Scottish university, and Senior Fellow at the Center for Applied Transgender Studies. I am Editor and trustee of the Community Development Journal (with Kirsty Lohman) and sit on the editorial board of the Bulletin of Applied Transgender Studies. I am a member of the British Sociological Association, the World Professional Association for Transgender Health, the Feminist Studies Association of the UK and Ireland, and the Feminist Gender Equality Network. You can read about some of the conferences and academic events I have run on this page.Music-wise, I currently play bass in wormboys and perform vocals in Dispute Settlement Mechanism.
I have previously also played in doom metal band Abandoned Life, punk trio Not Right, and folk rock group Bad News Everyone. I have promoted many gigs as part of the Revolt! feminist punk collective, and through Rolling Head Promotions.
During the 2000s and early 2010s I was an elected representative in the National Union of Students, volunteering on both the NUS LGBT Campaign committee and NUS Women’s Campaign committee (for which I was the first elected trans representative). I also worked as a staff writer for Lesbilicious, and was involved in activism through the Trans Youth Network.
This website has grown organically around the blog, which pre-dates my academic career. At various times it has been known as Trans Youth Takes On World, Writings of a Trans Activist, and Trans Activist Takes On World. In the early days of the blog I wrote anonymously, so in some older posts I refer to myself in the third person.
Today, the ‘blog’ section of this website is updated sporadically. I typically use it to discuss news and issues relating to trans health and feminism, and share new publications, music, and tour dates, but this can vary. All views are (or were!) my own, or those of guest authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer or organisations I am affiliated with.
(last updated: 14th February 2023)
Thank you for your query, and apologies for not responding sooner – I didn’t immediately see that I had recieved it.
There are several disabled parking spots next to the building where the event is taking place. These have to be booked for guests by staff members, so I have emailed to ask if I can book one for you.
Regarding chairs – can you possibly email me so I have your contact details to discuss this further? Best to use my Leeds address: email@example.com.
Dispute Settlement Mechanism sounds like a ship in Iain M. Banks’ “Culture” series, perhaps a rapid offensive unit.
Hah, that’s definitely a compliment. And we are most certainly a rapid offensive unit.
We are actually named for a function of the World Trade Organisation, although conveniently the initials DSM also stand for a few other things of thematic relevance…
Hello Ruth!! I just finished your book “terf wars” and I really enjoyed it ! I wanted to share it with some people I know but I was wondering if there was a translation to spanish, because I’m from México so I think it would be easier to access in that language. if there isn’t a traslation, is it okay if me and my friends make one ?
I hope you’re doing well ! ❤
hello ruth !! I hope you’re doing well! I wanted to ask you if there is a version in spanish of the book “terf wars”. I really enjoyed it and wanted to share with more people , and as I’m in México it’d be easier that way ! if not, I don’t know if it’s okay if some of my friends and I work on a traslation ? thanks ! ❤
Hi! I am VERY sorry it has taken me so long to reply. Sadly there is not a Spanish version yet. We would love it if you worked on a translation! The articles labelled “open access” can be translated and shared for free. For the others you may need permission from the authors and/or publisher. Please email me if you want to on: firstname.lastname@example.org.