Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Liberal Studies


Paisley Currah

Subject Categories

Gender and Sexuality | History of Gender | International and Area Studies | Politics and Social Change | Theory, Knowledge and Science


Transgender Studies, Social Movements, Global Development, Decolonization, Biopolitics


Trans liberation as a global movement began to be documented in public reports in the mid-2000s. Gathered together from their first decade (2008-2018), publications produced by three trans INGOs—Transgender Europe (TGEU), the Asia Pacific Trans Network (APTN), and Global Action for Trans* Equality (GATE)—demonstrate the cultivation of a global trans imaginary and materialize records of a coalescing struggle. The publications depict tensions between an evolving global trans imaginary and the construction of a rights deserving trans population in the development sector. The seeking of international action and resources has compelled the unification of messaging through rhetoric and data aggregation across otherwise heterogenous circumstances of gender variant life in distinct cultural and sociopolitical contexts. This unification of messaging enables the trans movement to engage and become established within global development spaces, while steeping the conceptualization of trans liberation within the ethos of development as it applies to the modernizing of populations’ conditions and capacities, framed by narratives of cumulative progress. By studying the living public archive of the global trans movement collected in its first decade, I explore the evolution of trans internationalism and the articulation of trans populations’ potentiality through the lens of Roderick Ferguson’s concept of the will to institutionality.