Trans Oral History Project Collective Organizers


Michelle Esther O’Brien is NYC TOHP’s part-time staff working with the NYPL. She brings years of community organizing, including in labor unions, HIV and AIDS services, and trans movements. She is currently a grad student researching the class politics of NYC’s LGBTQ movements.


AJ Lewis co-organizes the NYC TOHP. He is a postdoctoral fellow in gender, women's, and sexuality studies at Grinnell College and is interested in how LGBT communities have historically drawn from nontraditional organizing tactics such as magic as alternatives to state-sanctioned reform structures. 


Jamie Magyar is a member of the NYC TOHP collective with particular interests in transcripts, archives, and events. He works in the publishing industry and lives in Brooklyn.


Aviva Silverman is an artist and a triple Aries living in Chinatown, New York, who works in sculpture and performance. Their practice engages with religion, gender nonconformity, and nonhuman actors to revisit existing forms, in particular, technologies of spiritual and political surveillance. They do organizing work with prison-abolition and Palestinian-solidarity groups in New York City, and are interested broadly in community-based healing through narrative, diasporic Judaism and mysticism, and science fiction.


Jeanne Vaccaro co-organizes the NYC TOHP. She is a Mellon fellow in feminist arts & sciences at UC Davis and the curator of Bring Your Own Body: transgender between archives and aesthetics, organized for the Cooper Union. 


Sebastián Castro Niculescu is a former intern turned collective member with the NYC TOHP. She is a trans Latina writer, artist, organizer/curator and performer originally from the NYC metropolitan area. Sebastián is currently a Mellon fellow studying Ethnic Studies at Brown University and Sculpture at RISD. Her research lies between Latinx Studies, Trans Studies, Critical Race Theory, and Performance Studies. 


Jaime Shearn Coan is a writer and PhD Candidate in English at The Graduate Center, CUNY. He currently serves as a Mellon Digital Publics Fellow at The Center for the Humanities, and lectures in the Department of Drama, Theatre, and Dance at Queens College. He has written and published widely.

Former Collective Members and Interns


Adelaide/Matthew Dicken is a non-binary Pisces transwoman theatre-maker and resource-mover of European descent living in a collective home in Flatbush, Brooklyn. She organizes in grassroots abolitionist movements committed to mutual aid for incarcerated queer and trans people of color, freeing criminalized survivors, and building support structures towards economic self-determination for people working for trans & disability justice. 


Jay Toole is an activist and storyteller with over fifteen years of experience organizing around LGBT homelessness issues, and forty years of experience navigating homelessness herself in NYC. From 2002-2012, Jay was a co-founder and Shelter Director at Queers for Economic Justice (QEJ), which became the first LGBT organization to facilitate support groups for queer individuals within the NYC shelter system. 


Elliott Maya was a community outreach intern for the NYC TOHP. They are a black nonbinary writer who graduated from Grinnell College with an undergraduate degree in English; gender, women’s, and sexuality studies; and American studies. Their research focuses on the lives and well-being of black trans women, black butch women, and black non-binary individuals. 


Kamryn Wolf is a queer and nonbinary activist, artist and graduate student at Union Theological Seminary in NYC, where they are studying chaplaincy and spiritual care with transgender and gender nonconforming people. They bring to NYC TOHP a concern with care work, spirituality, racial and economic justice, and collective action. 


Aoife interned for the TOHP over the summer of 2019. They are a member of Smith College's class of 2022 and they are a Study of Women and Gender and Anthropology double major. Aoife is active in organizing for first generation, low income and transgender students on campus. 


Ric interned with the NYC TOHP. She graduated from Grinnell College and currently works for a queer youth advocacy nonprofit in Iowa.