In this interview, Ryan Segur, class of 2017, highlights their experience as an undergraduate and graduate non binary trans femme member of the Brown University community.
Segur begins by sharing some personal background including a brief explanation of how they identify. They describe their early life as a child of two members of the Navy who lived in Louisiana, Mississippi, Washington, DC, and Nebraska. They share some memories of their time at preparatory school in Nebraska as well as the impact of Midwestern culture on their gender identity. Segur recounts that a Brown student began a Queer Nebraska youth network that introduced them to other queer Nebraskans as well as to the university.
In speaking of their time as an undergraduate, Segur recalls fraternity parties, the Sex Power God party, the Third World Transition Program, and serving as a trans activist. Additionally, Segur discusses their various positions with Queer People and Allies for the Advancement of Medicine, Connected for Health, AmeriCorps, and Rhode Island for Community and Justice. They also talk about identifying as a cis-gendered gay man during their initial time on campus, then as gender queer in their junior year, and finally as trans-femme in their senior year. Segur elaborates upon the importance of using someone’s chosen pronouns and how difficult it was for Segur to institute that among their friend group. They also emphasize the challenges they faced getting access to hormone therapy.
In the latter half of this interview, Segur specifically addresses “Rapid-onset gender dysphoria in adolescents and young adults: A study of parental reports,” a controversial study done by a researcher at the Brown School of Public Health. Segur argues that this paper will have long-term harmful effects on the trans community because it postulates that trans youth exist out of social contagion. Segur explains that as a fifth-year Master’s student in the Alpert Medical School, they have worked to encourage Brown to discredit the paper. Segur concludes the interview by stating that Brown has very obvious holes in its support systems for trans students despite the fact that the campus originally served as a safe space to come out.
The Pembroke Center thanks Ryan Segur for their bravery in donating the first non-binary trans femme interview to this project. We also thank Sebastián Castro Niculescu for serving as the peer curator of trans oral histories for the Pembroke Center Archives.
Sayles Hall, Brown University