Digital Transgender Archive

Octavia Leona Kohner Oral History

Download the full-sized image of Octavia Leona Kohner Oral History

Octavia Leona Kohner was active in the successful unionization campaign at Babeland, a NYC sex toy shop. Here, she recounts her upbringing in a working-class family in Staten Island, and describes social isolation, friendships, and sexual encounters during adolescence. She relates her experience coming out as a trans woman while attending Hunter College, and her struggle with depression. She also discusses her own political journey, participating in advocacy and activism during high school and college, listening and learning at Occupy Wall Street, and her affiliation with anarchism. She shares stories of organizing at Babeland, recounting workplace grievances, anti-union efforts by management, the bargaining process, and details of their first contract. She places the victory by Babeland workers in the context of the broader labor movement.

Item Information:

Identifier
zg64tm19p
Collection
Audio and Video: Clips and Transcripts
Institution
NYC Trans Oral History Project
Creator(s)
O'Brien, Michelle Esther
Kohner, Octavia Leona
Contributor(s)
Ambrose, Justine
Publisher
New York Public Library
Date Created
Mar. 27, 2017
Dates Covered
1992 to 2017
Genre
Oral Histories
Subject(s)
Babeland
Octavia Leona Kohner
Places
New York
New York > New York County > City University of New York Hunter College
Topic(s)
Activists
Anarchism
Childhood
Clothing
Coming out
Depression
Discrimination
Families
Feminists
Gender identity
Isolation
Labour movement
LGBTI community
MtFs
Political movements
Solidarity
Trade unions
Transgender people
Transitioning
Transphobia
Violence
Working class
Resource Type
Audio
Digital Format
Duration: 1 hour 38 minutes 56 seconds
Language
English
Rights
Contact host institution for more information
For more information on copyright, please read our policies