Toggle Index/Transcript View Switch.
Search this Index
00:00:00 - Introduction

Play segment

Segment Synopsis: Allison Scott introduces herself and discusses how her family came to Asheville.

Keywords: Asheville, North Carolina; Barnardsville, North Carolina; Morganton, North Carolina; Old Fort, North Carolina; Woodfin, North Carolina

00:02:23 - Revitalization of Asheville and Being Queer in that Time

Play segment

Partial Transcript: AS: Yeah, the queer culture in Asheville when I was in elementary, middle, high
school and college aged, was very close and very centered in certain pockets of
Asheville, and with this shift and a lot of people moving into the area, it did
spread out. In some ways, that would seemingly be a good thing, but it has also
caused the culture to maybe lose some of that community that we had at one time;
and also with people who had been together for a very long time and had just
understood the struggles of living in the South, because people have moved
in--even queer people have moved in maybe from other pockets of the United
States, especially north or west where they didn't understand the intricacies of
being queer in the South, so there's also I think it goes back to that
perception that Asheville is very progressive, and I think that it's progressive
if you measure it against other places in the South, but a lot of that just
comes from some of the people that have moved here.

Segment Synopsis: Allison discusses queer culture during Asheville's revitalization period in the 1990's.

Keywords: Asheville, North Carolina; queer culture; revitalization

00:07:22 - Coming Out

Play segment

Partial Transcript: AS: Well, it was really difficult for me. My parents were not supportive. I'm
typically what's called an early identifier with my gender--that I was
expressing that very early on with no support from my family. Yeah, my family
represented a lot of the South, they were high school education at most; no one
in the immediate family had any post-high school education. Religion has always
had a place in the South. Even people who may not say they're religious or go to
church, it still shaped their views of the world, and that definitely shaped my
conversations with my parents and my family as I was trying to express who I was
early on.

Segment Synopsis: Allison discusses her experience coming out as a trans woman.

Keywords: homeless; queer community; the South

00:09:48 - Community Spaces Growing Up

Play segment

Partial Transcript: GW: So how did you end up building a network for yourself growing up and then
also now in Asheville?
AS: That was the hardest part. I didn't find that network until late in high
school because there weren't as many people who were out. I always wish we'd
had, like, a secret sign or something that we could identify with because our
schools didn't have any GSAs. I mean, there's no way that was gonna exist. You
never told anyone if your sexuality or gender didn't fit these norms that
everybody expected. So, the way I found it was actually when [SLAM] I got my
driver's license when I was 16 and I was able to start getting out on my own and
found some little pockets of that--like Malaprops, that was around--and started
being able to venture out and see that--just run into people in these spaces
that somehow we all found ourselves navigating to even without a roadmap, which
I always thought was amazing. It's like there wasn't signs up, like "go this way
if you're queer and this is a space;" it seemed like people found it just seredipidly
just and it was an amazing experience to run into people and start talking. It
was -- you found people in your tribe and then start sharing: oh here's another
cool place you can go to, here's another cool place. Because y'know, we didn't
have the internet, we didn't have a lot of things that made finding spaces easy.

Segment Synopsis: Allison tells her story of coming out the challenges she faced.

Keywords: Asheville, North Carolina; Campaign for Southern Equality; Malaprops Bookstore; Phoenix support group; Scandals Nightclub; marriage equality

00:22:51 - Historical and Current Bias Against Trans Community

Play segment

Partial Transcript: AS: Yeah, um. I -- 2013 is when I started getting involved in the community, and
I had tried to -- kind of put my head down and just trying to live my life the
best I could. And when -- around 2013 I just felt a real pull to do things, so I
started looking for groups I could do things with. And I love, like I said
again, being a native Southerner, I really like supporting local and southern
things, so I went for groups that were either native Asheville and southern, and
that's when I found the Campaign for Southern Equality, and I volunteered with
them. I would help with transmission, I would volunteer with Blue Ridge Pride
and I'd volunteer with -- show up for Phoenix, all these local groups for
Asheville. And started doing -- started donating my time and working on projects
and helping to advocate for our community around them. And then, I started -- I
think there was a really big shift, starting in 2014, 2015 when HB2 came about,
and, I think that was a big wake-up call for not only local organizations, but
national ones too that trans people were not only just -- I don't wanna say
'just,' I'm like saying it's me -- we weren't just being made fun of or
ridiculed as freaks, or, y'know, just as a subgroup within freaks sometimes, but
were actively persecuted.

Segment Synopsis: Allison discusses the marginalization that the trans community has and continues to face, even in spaces like Asheville.

Keywords: Campaign for Southern Equality; HB2; Phoenix support group; marginalization; marriage equality; oppression

00:34:28 - Centering Marginalized Voices in Social Justice Movements

Play segment

Partial Transcript: AS: Yeah, it's been very challenging. We at CSE, we work on trying to find
people of color, whether they be trans or LGBQ, we try to find that, but it's
more challenging now because of gentrification -- that we've seen especially in
Asheville, as people have moved and left the area, and we work all across the
South, the 13 southern states, with CSE, even though our home office is here in
Asheville, so we do get to work with -- we seek out grassroots partners who are
primarily people of color, entirely people of color organizations, but we
actually structure, we create programs for people of color. Like we do right
now, we're doing a new southern leaders fellowship that was one year entirely
built on finding a trans person of color to fill. To get that opportunity to.

Segment Synopsis: Allison discusses how movements must center the inidivduals they are seeking to serve.

Keywords: LGBTQ community; marginalization; trans issues

00:42:26 - Trans Visibility

Play segment

Partial Transcript: ... there was a road marker there, that all of a sudden,
this was going to start being a big deal. So at first, my reaction was like, oh
my god, this is -- here's more negative. But, like I said -- I think there can
be good that comes from anything, so when I sat down and thought about it, I was
like, 'What's the good that can actually come from things like HB2?' And this
transgender movement that we were starting to see being verbalized and shown
publicly in media and talked about in spaces. To me, that was actually -- I
could actually see the good in it because for the {00:45:00} first time, we weren't a
daytime talk show. Our rights were being talked about. Even if they were trying
to be restrictive, they were being talked about. Nobody talked about -- y'know,
people talked about trans people being in the bathroom, but it was in hushed
tones, or in secret. But we're talking about in the news, talking about people's
civil rights, my civil rights, for the first time ever, and along with that came
employment rights.

Segment Synopsis: Allison discusses how trans advocacy came to be better known, even if it may have at first been through oppressive dialogues.

Keywords: HB2; backlash; civil rights; employment rights; media; trans advocacy

00:51:14 - On the Backs of Those Who Came Before

Play segment

Partial Transcript: AS: Yeah, y'know, when I'm talking to people, I always remind people -- people
mean well. They really do, and I believe that. That when people show up to
support trans issues or LGBTQ issues, and if I'm a part of it or I see other
trans people part of it, I often times see people say, 'You're so brave.' And,
y'know, I like to remind people that we -- me, and people my age, are standing
on the shoulders of people from the Stonewall generation, these trans people and
nonbinary people from these generations who led these charges and started
visibility, even if it was suppressed and erased overtime. They still did it.
We're standing on their shoulders. I could've -- I could've never come out if it
hadn't been for all the things people had done before me, and coming -- I think
coming out even in my -- I came out, I actually started -- oh my gosh, what a
life -- I started to medically transition when I was 20, and things happened,
some family things, and I didn't feel safe and there was a lot of things going
on that didn't do that, so I decided not to, and I did later on.

Segment Synopsis: Allison explains the shifts in age groups with coming out and the ease of being trans today, thanks to trans activists from the past.

Keywords: Stonewall; coming out; trans community

01:06:04 - An Activist to be Remembered

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Holly was to me in a lot of ways a rockstar. And, y'know, one of the bravest I've ever met because I can't
imagine the age that Holly was in the stories that she shared in coming out and
the persecution that she faced in so many ways of, y'know, being -- people
saying she was mentally ill and these really hardcore things. She was just
amazing. And I think that my favorite thing was I was so lucky that I was
involved in a story for the Asheville Citizen Times, and Holly and I were part
of the story with Asheville Citizen Times and Holly was sharing part of her
story about her gender journey, and one of my favorite things that Holly always
said was that she lived half her life as male and half her life as female, and
she was bored with gender. And I always thought of all the Holly stories, that
one so eloquently and succinctly put the way Holly felt about all this after so
much experience in living, coming out, watching our community grow and be talked
about and everything else.

Segment Synopsis: Allison discusses the impacts of deceased activist Holly Boswell, and who to contact for more information about Holly's life.

Keywords: Holly Boswell; Jessica Britton; Renée Richards

01:15:53 - Life View as a Trans Womxn

Play segment

Partial Transcript: AS: Well, that's a deep question, Grace. I think, for myself, it is -- it has
shown me, intimately, that nuance is in gender and what I mean by that is in
navigating the world in gender. I, y'know, being assigned male at birth, I was
never, like, never got into hypermasculinity or anything -- I was tried to be
pushed into sports but it just wasn't my thing and I found those spaces really
toxic, that I couldn't -- I couldn't be in those spaces. And then just trying to
live my life, and being seen in the world as masculine, um, and then coming out
for the second time in my life and transitioning, it gave me not just an
academic sense of being female in the world, but actually having to live those
experiences? And -- y'know, I actually gave a workshop last night, for
elementary age students and for their parents and the administration and I told
people this -- we talked about gender identity and I said, y'know, as a spectrum. I don't, I don't believe that. To me, gender is a
colorwheel. It's way more nuanced than just left or right, it's this big
colorwheel, it's a big palette, and everything you do, every action you take, is
not just left or right, it's this weird mosaic blend on this colorwheel, just
like in photoshop and everything else, and that's why when I first came out, I
was like, okay, I'm transgender, I'm a trans woman, and I still use that
language, and at the same time I tell people it still doesn't feel like it fits

Segment Synopsis: Allison discusses her world view as a trans woman, and tells a bit about her coming out the second time (starting hormones).

Keywords: colorwheel gender; individual experience; sexual harrassment

01:24:14 - Safe Spaces in Asheville for the Trans Community

Play segment

Partial Transcript: I mean, Scandals was great, but it was also primarily dominated by
lesbian and gay culture, and Club Hair Spray opened up and it opened the door to
a space mostly filled with nonbinary and trans people, and that was amazing --
that was absolutely incredible. To go into that space, and again, it was almost
like when I went into Scandals and was eighteen, I remember the first time I
went into Club Hair Spray, and going in there was like, oh, my gosh; the rabbit
hole goes deeper. This is even better, y'know, this is even better, this is even
more -- here are people who are further along in this journey and, yeah, it was
neat. I really enjoyed -- and it wasn't like I enjoyed, it wasn't like I was big
into club culture party, not that there's anything wrong with that, but it was
more of here's a space that gender's pushed way more than any space I'd ever
seen, even at Scandals. I'd never seen so many trans and nonbinary people
represented in one space in my life life up until that point until Club Hair

Segment Synopsis: Allison further discusses queer spaces in Asheville and how they pushed gender, creating trans-welcoming spaces in the 1990's.

Keywords: Club Hairspray; Scandals Nightclub; cis takeover; dragking shows; trans non-binary