Rupert Raj's Trans* Collection at CLGA

I've been processing Rupert Raj's papers at CLGA for the past year, working weekly stints of about 2-3 hours. Raj has been an important trans* activist over the course of his life time, and his papers, scrapbooks, magazines, books, photographs and correspondence document trans* activist history in the 1970s and 1980s, in particular. Nick Matte, a PhD candidate in the University of Toronto's History Department, worked with Rupert to get his materials to CLGA in 2006, but they have yet to be fully processed. I'm doing the work of sorting the material into files and writing a finding aid for the collection, which I hope to complete in July 2014.

Rupert  is a Eurasian (East Indian and Polish) pansexual trans man who came out in 1971 in the queer community of Ottawa as a bi-sexual and as trans; he went on testosterone in 1971, and had his first surgery (double masectomy) in 1972.  He founded several trans organizations, including: 1) Foundation for the Advancement of Canadian Transsexuals (FACT);  2) the Metamorphosis Medical Research Foundation (MMRF Dec. 1981-May 1988); and 3) Gender Worker (1987, which changed its name in 1989 to Gender Consultants, with his wife Michelle Raj-Gauthier as partner; closed in 1990). He also founded three transsexual publications: 1) Gender Review: the Factual Journal (1978-81, Calgary/Toronto); 2) Metamorphosis Newsletter/Metamorphosis Magazine 1982-88, Toronto); and 3) Gender Networker (2 issues, Toronto, 1988, directed towards helping professionals and resource providers). In June 1999 he co-founded a peer-support group for transsexual men and transsexual women at the 519 Community Centre in Toronto.

As part of my volunteer work, I have also interviewed Rupert five times about his history and his collection, and will be donating the recordings and the transcripts to CLGA when I've finished processing the collection.


National Portrait Collection