How I Became a Trans Philosopher

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Talia Mae Bettcher


This essay recounts my intellectual development from undergraduate study until present. The first section discusses my early life and my introduction to philosophy at Glendon College. The second discusses my graduate career at UCLA and my gender transition midway through the program. The third concerns my philosophical development as a professor at Cal State LA until 2012. It details my shift from early modern philosophy to what would eventually be called “trans philosophy.” The final discusses my intellectual growth since then as well as the emergence of trans philosophy as a subfield.

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Bettcher, T. M. (2022). How I Became a Trans Philosopher. Journal of World Philosophies, 7(1), 145–156. Retrieved from
Autobiographical Essays
Author Biography

Talia Mae Bettcher, California State University

Talia Mae Bettcher is a Professor of Philosophy at California State University, Los Angeles. Some of her articles include “Evil Deceivers and Make Believers: Transphobic Violence and the Politics of Illusion” (Hypatia 2007), “Trapped in the Wrong Theory: Rethinking Trans Oppression and Resistance” (Signs 2013), “When Selves Have Sex: What the Phenomenology of Trans Sexuality Can Teach about Sexual Orientation” (Journal of Homosexuality 2014), and “What is Trans Philosophy?” (Hypatia 2020). She is currently completing the monograph “Intimacy and Illusion: An Essay in Trans Philosophy” (under contract with University of Minnesota Press).