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Dan Rosensweet

Interviewed By Sebastián Castro Niculescu

Dan Rosensweet was born and raised in Brooklyn. In this interview, Dan discusses their high school experience, performing drag for the first time, struggling with an eating disorder, and seeking out television depictions of trans youth. Dan goes on to talk about the media and pop culture influences—Powerpuff Girls, Sailor Moon, RuPaul's Drag Race—that have played a key role in their life. Dan further discusses the queer-friendly atmosphere at SUNY Purchase, their academic work, and the importance of community support and visibility. (Summary by Evie Zavidow.)

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Michel O'Brien (01:18)
SUNY Purchase (01:29)
Methodist hospital (02:41)
Park Slope (02:43)
Brooklyn, NY (02:44)
Sheepshead bay (02:46)
childhood (05:13)
Bank Street (05:39)
Park Slope (05:41)
military (06:11)
anxiety (06:34)
body image (09:00)
bullying (09:05)
body image (09:11)
body shaming (10:09)
wearing dresses (10:42)
coming out (12:11)
Sheepshead Bay (12:52)
Marine park (12:54)
pansexual (13:06)
bi-sexual (13:07)
youtube (13:18)
Katie Couric (13:31)
60 Minutes (13:40)
trans youth (13:44)
fetish (14:51)
eating disorder (16:59)
body image (17:10)
personal style (19:49)
sexual attention (20:19)
SUNY Purchase (20:39)
Westchester County (20:44)
queer-friendly environments (20:54)
binaries (22:13)
HRT (22:58)
social constructs (23:52)
Feminist Club (24:41)
pronouns (24:59)
media and pop culture (27:37)
Cher (27:55)
Spongebob (28:27)
Powerpuff Girls (28:53)
Sailor Moon (28:54)
Zerophilia (29:23)
RuPaul's Drag Race (30:38)
To Wong Foo (31:22)
Priscilla (31:24)
wrestling (31:28)
Hedwig (32:33)
Peaches (32:42)
nautical culture (33:12)
high fantasy (33:25)
Patti Harrison (33:42)
Monty Python (33:46)
Myspace (34:44)
villains (36:03)
Queer Club (36:15)
Tim Burton (36:33)
drag (37:59)
jealousy (40:01)
being closeted (43:36)
Clown of Glasses (44:41)
drag ball (45:06)
Milk (45:18)
performance art (46:18)
friends (47:41)
trans representation (52:55)
Shaka McGlotten (54:23)
gender therapy (56:27)


Read transcript.

Interview Data

Date of Interview
June 27, 2018
Location of Interview
NYPL Offices, Midtown Manhattan
Place of birth
Brooklyn, New York
Camp Counselor
Gender Pronouns
Birth Year
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About This Collection

NYC Trans Oral History Project

NYPL's Community Oral History Project is teaming up with the NYC Trans Oral History Project to collect, preserve, and share oral histories from our city's transgender and gender non-conforming communities. 

We'll be training a community corps of interviewers to collect these largely undocumented oral histories in order to build a lasting and expansive archive on NYC transgender experiences.

About the NYC Trans Oral History Project:

We are a collective, community archive working to document transgender resistance and resilience in New York City. We work to confront the erasure of trans lives and to record diverse histories of gender as intersecting with race and racism, poverty, dis/ability, aging, housing migration, sexism, and the AIDS crisis. 

We are inspired by the public history activism of the ACT UP oral history project to build knowledge as a part of our anti-oppression work. We believe oral history is a powerful part of social justice work, and that building an alternative archive of transgender histories can transform our organizing for transgender liberation. 

You can listen to interviews, search interviews tags (like #genderfluidity #self-knowledge #gentrification and #queerfamily), and soon read transcripts. We hope the interviews and tags will preserve and proliferate new knowledges about trans and gender non-conforming experiences.

Content warning: Many of the interviews here include personal accounts of violence, sexual assault, abuse as children, or trauma.