"Trans Narratives tells the stories of everyday people. While the interviews focus on the numerous challenges faced by trans people today and in the past, our stories will also uplift us all with the courage of trans people. Listening to these interviews will help the public understand that there is no single trans story. Rather, we are a microcosm of America."
- Meredith Vezina
is a cis woman, who earned a BA in journalism from Colorado State University.
is a trans woman who transitioned in the 1970s. She earned a BA and MA in history from San Diego State University.
Ellen and Meredith met in 1990 and were married in 1992. In October 2013 Meredith and Ellen were legally married in California. Together they founded a small documentary film company in 1993. For more than 20 years they have been interviewing Vietnam War veterans.
In 2013, Meredith came out publicly as trans, and Meredith and Ellen began working as activists in the
San Diego trans community.
They were on the committee of the first Trans* March and Rally in July of 2014 and the following year they started Trans Elders of San Diego. In 2014, they began working with Lambda Archives of San Diego. The archives is a repository for documents, photos and ephemera pertaining to LGBT history. They founded and are producers of the Trans Oral History Project at Lambda Archives. The cornerstone of that project has been filming interviews with San Diego's transgender and gender non-conforming community. They also document trans marches, demonstrations, events and vigils.
"Trans women try to look as much as their feminine self as possible. So much depends on that-your well being, your safety, your employment, your housing. So much depends on how you look."
- Tracie Jada O'Brien
The mission of Trans Narratives is two-fold: to tell our stories and, as a community, to build and promote our trans history. We need to share our stories with trans people who are not out and with those who are struggling with their gender dysphoria. When we do, we validate our lives and the trans community. And we need to tell our stories so that the general public has an opportunity to know us; so that we can win the hearts and minds of all reasonable people. Rather than just sound bites,
Trans Narratives offers hours of in-depth interviews that clearly demonstrate the diversity of our trans community.
We need to record and promote our history; to recover our past as best we still can. Just like every community, knowing our history will engender pride in ourselves and greater understanding by and acceptance from others.
"Navigating the world as a non-binary person is really hard. [...] I felt really uncomfortable to always be mis-gendered as a woman. Now if I'm mis-gendered as a man it's not as bad. But it's weird always weird."
- Liat Wexler
(Grouped by subject)
"I witnessed the AIDS holocaust down there. I saw people dying on the streets. There were no services. And if you were trans so much the worse. The meds were available over here (San Diego) but not over there (Tijuana)."
- Nicolette Ibarra
Trans History Timeline of...
Videos and Photos of protests, rallies, parades, marches, festivals, vigils, celebrations and more in San Diego
Disclaimer: The contents of oral history interviews presented on this website are personal, experiential, and interpretive. Because, by its nature, these interviews rely on the memories and perceptions of individuals, these interviews should not be understood as statements of fact endorsed by Trans Narratives.