Crossing Pride: Queer and Trans Refugee Transnational Storytelling & Digital Archiving

Debanuj DasGupta
Feminist Studies
UC Santa Cruz

Jeanne Scheper
Gender and Sexuality Studies
UC Irvine

Crossing Pride builds on two decades of partnerships centering queer and trans refugee voices by producing community-based creative storytelling processes in order to facilitate healing, build community-led refugee networks, and inform public policy. Story-telling documents the violence and inequities faced by queer and trans refugees who are caught between the borderlands of nation-states. This grant expands upon the successes of the UCHRI seed grant, which included: 1) a blueprint for a digital community archive created in consultation with UCLA experts in transnational archives for human rights and special collection librarians in international collaborations, 2) the creation and implementation of a Community Advisory Board of queer and trans refugee leaders across three continents, 3) a mission statement of ethical values, developed by the Community Advisory Board, and 4) a draft of the workshop manual for community-based, trauma-informed performance healing practices. In 2022, we are focusing on A) piloting the workshop manual with refugee groups, B) developing community-produced zines of refugee stories from four different regions of the world, C) solidifying and expanding the Crossing Pride transnational refugee leaders network, and D) launching a preliminary version of the digital manual and community archive, which allows educators and community leaders to replicate and expand the storytelling-to-zine making process.