University of Victoria names world's first transgender studies chair

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      The University of Victoria announced on January 15 that it has appointed the world's first chair in transgender studies.

      The position is funded for five years in the university's faculty of social sciences by a donation of $1 million USD by the Tawani Foundation. The foundation will match contributions from other donors up to another $1 million.

      Aaron Devor will advance research into issues related to trans and gender diverse people, including healthcare, poverty, discrimination, and mental health.

      Devor is a UVic sociology professor and former dean of UVic's faculty of graduate studies. He has been working in transgender studies over the past 30 years, is an elected member of the International Academy of Sex Research, and is also an elected Fellow of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality.

      Devor is also the founder and academic director of UVic's Transgender Archives, which was launched in June 2012. It covers 17 countries with over a century of research.

      “Far too many trans and gender nonconforming people still live in poverty and fear,” Devor stated in a news release. “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.”

      Below is a video in which Devor talks more about his research.

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