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IN-VISIBLE Academia: Beyond Seahorses: An Exploratory Analysis of Trans*-Queer* Procreation

With the attacks on LGBTQIA+ rights in the United States of America, my research focuses on the intersection of LGBTQIA+ persons and family. I am studying how people who have transitioned genders/are trans* have had families AFTER their transition.

Athanasia Platis is a researcher with the Georgia State University, Atlanta. Her research contributes to gender equality by focusing on gender minorities (namely trans* and non-binary) people's access to procreation. More specifically, her research contributes to this by being able to influence policy, the medical system, and educating the general public.

Access to Procreation Is An Important Aspect of Gender Equality

We are currently experiencing an increase in the attacks on minorities all over the world, and the US is no exception. In the realm of this political situation, it is difficult for queers to gain access to family planning infrastructure. Athanasia's research looks at the project "Beyond Seahorses" that provides the opportunity for people of any gender to have access to building a family of their choosing as a springboard for her analysis. Athanasia says:

"While I focus on biological procreation, my research can then be extrapolated to show how the prohibitive costs of adoption and assisted reproductive technologies influence not only straight-cis couples, but people of all gender's ability to having the family of their dreams."

Researching Trans Matters as a Cis Woman

Athanasia shared her thoughts about her own gender identity and positionality as a researcher: "I want to be very honest about my identity: I am a straight-cis white woman. Of course, I am a part of some marginalized groups, but I am greatly privileged. As cliche as this is, I want to be a good ally, put my money where my mouth is, and work to create a world of greater equality for queer people to have the families they want. I am researching this topic because I care."

Unequal Standards for Trans* and Non-Binary People Undermine Gender Equality, Requiring Policy Change

During the current backlash against identity politics, at IN-VISIBLE we are also often wondering about the meaning of allyship. We are frustrated by cis men who are staying within their comfort zone instead of actively fighting for women's rights. Similarly, we think cis people have privileges they could and should use to step up for gender marginalized people. Athnasia's research might be one way of doing that. She thinks that her contribution to this topic "is important because of the impact it can have on people--on a greater whole--understanding how gender minorities have a right to children and how those children come to be. With (in)fertility and child-free-by-choice people still being stigmatized, the creation of children is a loaded topic for most people."

Ultimately, Athanasia is interested in policy change. With her research, she hopes to contribute to a "policy that impacts the legal rights, cost, and access to the creation of families for all people, as well as creating better standards of care for people in the family-development process--in both cases, particularly for queer* people.

We would like to thank Athanasia Platis for contributing to IN-VISIBLE Academia and wish her all the best for their research.

A photo of Athanasia who researches access to procreation as an important aspect of gender equality..


IN-VISIBLE ACADEMIA - Gender Researchers For Diversity

This feature is part of IN-VISIBLE ACADEMIA, a campaign for research from the fields of Gender Studies, with the goal to make it more visible and accessible to a broader public. Over the course of one year, IN-VISIBLE ACADEMIA helped Gender Studies researchers to gain more visibility and thereby built awareness about its meaning and relevance for society. This project was initiated by IN-VISIBLE and MARGHERITA-VON-BRENTANO-ZENTRUM; you can read the features on LinkedIn and Instagram.


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