Date of Award

Spring 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Ellen Gruenbaum

Committee Chair

Ellen Gruenbaum

Committee Member 1

Evelyn Blackwood

Committee Member 2

Su’ad Abdul Khabeer


The purpose of this ethnographic project is to investigate how the activists in REDMMUTRANS, a trans women rights activist group in Guatemala City, understand their individual and collective identity as trans. By analyzing the way REDMMUTRANS navigates and negotiates national and transnational discourses on gender, this thesis takes particular attention to the influence that activist practice has had in individual's adoption of 'trans' as an identity category. By looking at the way REDMMUTRANS's members construct their collective identity, I explore the interactions between the transnational development industry, localized experiences, and activist practice has in constructing what 'trans' means in the context of Guatemala.