Research

Current Projects:
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 harassment.

Forthcoming Book

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

Men in Place: Contemporary Contexts of Race, Sexuality, and Trans Masculinities, asks, how do spaces and places such as rural/urban context and region, shape men’s experiences of gender, sexuality, and race? The project explores these questions using in depth interviews with 66 trans men, men who were assigned female at brith, in the U.S. West, Southeast, and Midwest.

Men in Place explores the shifting meanings of being a man across cities and in rural areas. The book develops the insight that individual men do not have one way to be masculine—rather, their ways of being men shift between different spaces and places. She reveals a widespread version of masculinity that might be summed up as “strong when I need to be, soft when I need to be,” using the experiences of trans men to highlight the fundamental construction of manhood for all men.
With an eye to how societal institutions promote homophobia, transphobia, and racism, Men in Place argues that race and sexuality fundamentally shape safety for men, particularly in rural spaces, and helps us to better understand the ways that gender is created and enforced.

LGBTQ Coming of Age Study

This project is a collaboration between faculty at the University of Oregon and Portland State University that focuses on the experiences of coming of age as sexual and gender minority youth, including queer, transgender, gay, lesbian, bisexual and other non-heterosexual and non-cisgender identified teens. We are currently recruiting participants in Oregon and Washington and I am especially interested in interviewing people living in the rural Pacific Northwest. Please contact me for more information.