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Janis Walworth Camp Trans collection

Identifier: MSS 787

Scope and Contents

The Janis Walworth Camp Trans collection consist of approximately 2 linear feet of material compiled by Janis Walworth from 1991 to 1994. The collection includes literature and surveys distributed at the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival, photographs, publications that mention Camp Trans and their participants, and a banner used in 1994.


  • Creation: 1990 - 1996


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open and available for research in the MSU Libraries Special Collections' reading room. Researchers are limited to accessing three folders at a time for security.

Conditions Governing Access

The material is stored off site. Please request 3 working days in advance if you wish to use it.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright is retained by the authors of the items in this collection, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law. For photocopy and duplication requests, please contact the Stephen O. Murray and Keelung Hong Special Collections, Michigan State University Libraries.

Biographical / Historical

Born in 1947 in Boston, Mass.

Janis Walworth graduated from Antioch College in 1970 with a Bachelor of Arts in Biology, and received her Masters in Counseling from Fitchburg State University in 1996. In 1997 she co-founded the Center for Gender Sanity where she offered support for transitioning employees and consulting and diversity training to employers, EAP professionals, psychotherapists, educators, police, and fire departments.

Walworth wrote two books, Transsexual Workers: An Employer's Guide (Los Angeles, Calif.: Center for Gender Sanity, 1998), and Working with a Transsexual: A Guide for Coworkers (Los Angeles, Calif.: Center for Gender Sanity, 1999). She contributed chapters to Gender Blending (New York: Prometheus Books, 1997) and Training Tough Topics (New York: AMACOM, 2001).

Walworth was a contributor to publications such as Rites of Passage and TransSisters. In 1991 she helped facilitate the New Woman Conference, a gathering of women who had undergone gender affirming surgery. In 1992 she organized Full Circle of Women, a weekend conference for woman-identified people, both trans and cis, which was held annually for the next 15 years.

In 1991, Nancy Jean Burkholder, a friend of Walworth, was expelled from the 15th Michigan Womyn’s Musical Festival for being a trans woman. That event prompted Walworth to enlist the aid of three volunteers, one of them a trans woman, and distribute educational literature and a survey at the festival the following year. In 1993, Walworth and four transwomen set up an information table and survey distribution for a second time. The transwomen, including Nancy Jean Burkholder, were expelled from the festival, and they set up a camp across from the festival’s entrance. In 1994, Camp Trans attracted a larger group of people, including Leslie Feinberg, Minnie Bruce Pratt, and Riki Wilchins. Walworth did not lead any of the subsequent Camp Trans iterations, but the Camp became an annual protest that shone a light on the anti-trans policies and trans rights issues.


2 Linear Feet (3 boxes)

Language of Materials



The collection is organized in four series:

1. Documents 2. Photographs 3. Printed Materials 4. Realia.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection was donated by Janis Walworth in 2020.

Related Materials

Articles by or about participants of Camp Trans can be found at TransSisters: the journal of transsexual feminism.


Sources consulted in creating this finding aid include:

Williams, C. Questioning sex essentialism as feminist practice: An interview with Janis Walworth. The Conversations Project, 2016,

Processing Information

Eli Landaverde processed this collection in 2021.

Janis Walworth Camp Trans collection
4 Published And Cataloged
Eli Landaverde
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Stephen O. Murray and Keelung Hong Special Collections Repository

MSU Libraries
366 W. Circle Drive
East Lansing MI 48823 USA