Canada university establishes world’s first chair of transgender studies

The University of Victoria in British Columbia has established the world’s first chair of transgender studies, it announced on Friday (15 January).

Sociology professor and transgender man Aaron Devor will research a broad range of issues affecting the community, such as healthcare, poverty, discrimination and suicide.

‘Far too many trans and gender nonconforming people still live in poverty and fear,’ he said.

‘As the inaugural chair, I will act as a resource locally and internationally for those needing information for their own research or for policy development, as well as building linkages between community-based and academic scholars working in transgender studies,’

Devor is also the founder and academic director of the Transgender Archives at UVic – the largest collection of material on transgender activism and research – which was unveiled in June 2012.

The position will be funded for the first five years by a donation of $1 million from the Tawani Foundation.

The foundation has also pledged up to another $1 million to match contributions from other donors.