Tyranny of Gender: Lives Beyond He and She


Episode Summary

In this episode, Petra talks about finding her true self as a transwoman, and how her life experience has impacted her views on diversity, equity, and inclusion. Petra’s experience made her realize the need for better urban planning - one that honors minorities of all kinds and recognizes their contributions to building strong communities. Serving in the Peace Corps in Togo helped Petra better understand what it means to stand out as a racial minority and having white privilege. She uses this experience to try to understand the pain of racial minorities in the U.S., especially the discriminations laid upon non-binary individuals with minority racial identities. To become more inclusive in their behavior, Petra urges people to listen and question the way we have been treating minority voices in the U.S.

Petra Doan

Professor & Ph.D. Program Director
Department of Urban & Regional Planning
Curriculum Vitae


Dr. Doan conducts research on planning issues surrounding the LGBTQ community, especially the consequences of highly gendered urban environments for vulnerable populations, such as trans and gender non-conforming individuals. Her recent work has examined estimates of the size of the transgender and non-conforming population in the US and found that most statistics vastly underestimate the size of this population. Finally, she is writing on the ways that neo-conservative groups have politicized the bathroom issue, making life considerably more difficult for transgender and non-conforming individuals.

She has edited two books: Queerying Planning: Challenging Heteronormative Assumptions and Reframing Planning Practice published in 2011 by Ashgate and Planning and LGBTQ Communities: the Need for Inclusive Queer Space published by Routledge in 2015 and published numerous articles in Gender, Place, and Culture, City and Community, the Journal of Lesbian Studies, Women’s Studies Quarterly, Environment and Planning A, the Journal of Planning Education and Research, Progressive Planning, and the International Review of Urban and Regional Research.

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Further resources

Learn more about gender and gender identity:

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