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Abstract

Often, choosing a name is one of the first ways trans people begin to assume a different gender from the one they were assigned at birth. Stories about the process of choosing a name reveal how trans youth negotiate their relationship with their old name and their emerging sense of identity. Working with Avery Gordon’s Ghostly Matters (2008), I explore the ghostly ways birth names remain in the lives of trans youth. Gordon’s concept of ghosts presents an opportunity to think about how trans youth experience their birth name and the complex ways trans youth negotiate their identity at school.

Author Biography

Dr. Julia Sinclair-Palm is an instructor at York University and recently received her doctoral degree in Education from York University. She received her master's degree in sexuality studies from San Francisco State University. Her research addresses the daily lives of trans youth and she is interested in higher education, trans students, and educational policy.

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