Derek P. Siegel (they/them)

PhD Candidate in Sociology • @DerekPSiegel (twitter)

I am completing my dissertation in the Department of Sociology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and will receive my degree in May 2024. My work addresses 1) race, class, and gender inequalities with a focus on 2) reproduction, parenting, and family, and 3) transgender people's experiences in other institutional contexts (i.e., healthcare and the law). While my independent work primarily uses qualitative methods such as interviewing and focus groups, my collaborative work has involved quantitative methods including surveys and secondary data analysis. My research has been published in journals such as Gender & SocietySociological Forum, Sociology Compass, Social Science & Medicine, and Catalyst: Feminism, theory, technoscience.

My dissertation examines how race, class, and gender shape trans women's parenting journeys in a moment when anti-trans discourse and legislation are at an all-time high. I conducted 54 semi-structured interviews with current and prospective parents across North America, including 27 white trans women and 27 trans women of color. Using the concepts of racialized transmisogyny and reproductive governance, I argue that anti-trans stereotypes reinforce the power of regulatory institutions, policing the legal and symbolic boundaries of motherhood and constructing motherhood as a white, cisgender category. These boundaries shape both the distribution of parenting rights and how trans women are mis/recognized as mothers in everyday interactions (i.e., street harassment). I also examine transformations in family structure (i.e., how trans women navigate motherhood in both their nuclear families and families of choice). This project is funded by the American Sociological Association, the UMass Graduate School, and the UMass Center for Research on Families.