Turning Away From Risk: On Trans Youth World Making


6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

About Sex Salon:

The Sex Salon is a monthly speakers series organized and hosted by graduate students from the Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies, and meets on the last Wednesday of every month from 6:00 – 8:00 PM EST.

Speaker Bio:

LJ Slovin is the Martha LA McCain Postdoctoral Fellow at the Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies at the University of Toronto. They are the author of Fierce, fabulous, and fluid: How trans high school students work at gendernonconformity (in press with NYU Press) focused on queer and trans youth and the labor they perform to exist and thrive in schools. Their work has been published in Curriculum Inquiry, Journal of LGBT Youth, Sex Education, and RERM.

Presentation Description:

In North America, we are currently witnessing heightened conversations regarding the bodies, experiences, and lives of trans youth. There is a proliferation of fearmongering about their existence, leading to books bans, the blocking of gender-affirming healthcare, and legislation that criminalizes discussions of gender and sexuality in schools. These denunciations are mired in widespread understandings of adolescence as a risky period of life. Legislators, parents, and activists on all sides of these issues position children and youth as vulnerable and in need of protection. Reactionary and conservative adults frame youth as at-risk from learning about ‘controversial’ topics like gender and sexuality in schools while more progressive advocates warn of the possibilities of harm in censoring this knowledge. In this talk, I resist these frameworks and instead consider the agentic ways trans youth are already moving through schools. Drawing on data from a yearlong ethnography with trans youth in a high school in Western Canada, I explore how trans youth daily perform the complex labour of creating other worlds, both on their own and collaboratively, outside of the cisheteronormative logics of their school – worlds where they are not constrained by adults’ limited and limiting ideas about gender and what it means to be trans. I am interested in the ways youth reject notions of vulnerability as well as adults’ attempts at protection through the worlds they created as they worked to not just survive school but also to explore, understand, and revel in their gender nonconformity.

Register at bit.ly/SexSalonOctober

Location Details:

The location of this event is room UC240 located at University College (15 King’s College Circle). The easiest entrance is on the left side of Hart House Circle if you are walking north from King’s College circle. We will have volunteers at the main staircase on the first floor.


Please let us know of any access needs at sds.sexsalon@gmail.com