Year of Graduation


Document Type




Directing Professor

Ashleigh Breske


As popular media disseminates harmful “culture war” rhetoric regarding trans folk it has become increasingly necessary to amplify their voices to give them power over how they are perceived by society. Though political discourse regarding trans children has become a hot-button topic, this paper seeks to explore the overlooked experiences of trans elders as they contend with intersecting instances of ageism and transphobia from individuals and institutions in Roanoke, Virginia. Since community-based organizations like the Roanoke Diversity Center and Ladies and Gents of the Blue Ridge have been instrumental to strengthening the LGBTQ+ community in Roanoke, this research focuses on their contributions, as well as the challenges they face, to meeting the unique social and medical needs of trans elders. To enlighten us, interviews with prominent elder trans activists have been conducted and dissected to reveal how we might cultivate empowering spaces for trans folk of all ages.