LGBT Oral History 053: Sophie Kandler

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July 28, 2017

Sophie Kandler was born in Spring City, Pennsylvania in 1966. After being bullied at home and at school, Sophie finally graduated from high school. After graduating and applying to colleges, Sophie decided to attend Drexel University. After attending Drexel for two years, Sophie transferred to Penn State and graduated from there in 1989 with a degree in secondary education, English, and History. Nevertheless, Sophie’s attempt to receive a job in any of these fields has been a struggle. In this interview, Sophie discusses the privileges and oppression of growing up as a man while identifying as a woman. Growing up in a family that idealized hegemonic masculinity, Sophie learned to not outwardly express that she is transgender. She discusses the challenges she faced as a result of transphobia in the workplace and common public spaces, in addition to the challenges she witnessed her friends face due to trans discrimination. Sophie elaborates upon the importance of community and empathy in her life and other trans folks, and gives various spiritual and political meanings to how trans people are regarded in American society. In this interview, Sophie also touches on her experiences in parenting during and after transitioning.

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Gift of Sophie Kandler
LGBT Oral History - Kandler, Sophie - 053
Dickinson College Archives and Special Collections