Jack Caraves, a new assistant professor in the Women, Gender,
and Sexuality Studies Program in the Department of Sociology and Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, feels at home at San José State.
Caraves’ research has focused on the way social expectations of gender marginalize and threaten Latinx transgender people, contributing to harassment, violence and discrimination in employment, housing and health care, and how Trans Latinxs find strength and resilience in community, spirituality and activism. Caraves spent several years studying the Los Angeles Trans Latinx community, surveying 130 people and doing in-depth personal interviews.
Another aspect of Caraves’ research looks at how gender policing—the way family and institutions communicate and enforce binary gender roles. Caraves, who identifies as trans and nonbinary, hopes to add an understanding of the unique experiences of marginalized minorities to the transgender studies discipline “When we think about queer studies or we think about gender studies, often racialized minoritized communities are nonexistent in the literature,” Caraves says. “So while there’s a growth in Trans Studies, there’s not a discussion of what it means to be a Trans Latino or a migrant. My work becomes really important because it’s shedding light on this community that very much exists and is highly vulnerable to abuses and is often dehumanized in egregious ways.”