I am an Associate Professor of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Portland State University. I received my PhD in sociology and a certificate in women’s and gender studies from the University of Oregon.

My research and teaching interests focus on the intersection of gender, race, and sexuality and space;  masculinities; critical race studies; and queer and transgender studies. I focus on intersections of gender, sexuality, race, and class to understand how those aspects of social location are created and maintained across urban and rural spaces. Overall, I undertake this research using sociological methods to explore questions of identity and inequality in sociology, geography, and the interdisciplinary fields of women’s and gender studies and ethnic studies.

Book Cover: Men in Place: Trans Masculinity, Race, and Sexuality in America by Miriam J. Abelson

My book, Men in Place: Trans Masculinity, Race, and Sexuality in America, was published with the University of Minnesota Press in March 2019. As masculinity is being contested in the current era, I use an intersectional approach in Men in Place to explore the shifting meanings of being a man across cities and in rural areas of the United States. I illustrate that individual men do not have one way to be masculine—rather, their ways of being men shift between different spaces and places. Through in-depth interviews with transgender men in the U.S. West, Southeast, and Midwest,  I show how the places and spaces men inhabit are fundamental to their experiences of race, sexuality, and gender.

My ongoing research and writing projects focus on LGBTQ youth; whiteness, nation, and sexuality in the rural Northwest; and transgender people’s experiences of discrimination and violence.

See Research for more information on my other projects.