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Ben Singer papers

Identifier: Ms-Coll-51

Scope and Contents

This collection is divided into four series: Trans Health; Philadelphia City Hall; Events; and Other Materials. The Trans Health files are dated from 1996 to 2005 and include documentation from the Trans-health Information Project (TIP) and the Trans Health Action Coalition. The TIP documentation is comprised of copies of outreach session agendas and materials; administrative reports, and comprehensive medical guides written by Singer himself.

The Philadelphia City Hall series contains items dated from 1996 to 2004, which primarily deal with organizations that the Trans-health Information Project worked with on a wider scale. Documentation about the mayoral LGBT Advisory Board's Transgender work group, along with a local transgender needs assessment, are in this section. Administrative items from Prevention Point are included within this section.

The Events series of this collection has items dated from 1997 to 2007, which are about notable events: conferences, such as handouts from the first through sixth Philadelphia Trans Health Conference; film festival reviews and petitions; and a folder of photos from a gathering for the Transgender Day of Remembrance.

The final series, Other materials, collects those items that did not fully fit underneath the other three schemas. The items within are dated from 1994 to 2005 and encompass a wide spectrum. Within this group are files from casual social events like the Gay Games or HIV/AIDS support groups, or then-contemporary news articles such as Leslie Nelson's 1955 trial. In addition are Singer's copies of more personal correspondence with the all-female Sadism/Masochism community Female Trouble regarding his membership status as a transgender man, and several issues of S/M magazines.


  • 1989 - 2007


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research with the exception of two folders, which are restricted: Prevention Point job applications, 2003 (Box 3, Folder 2) and Trans--Prison, 1997-1999 (Box 4, Folder 9).

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright restrictions may exist. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the John J. Wilcox, Jr. LGBT Archives of the William Way LGBT Community Center.

Biographical / Historical

Ben Singer is an out transgender advocate, community leader, teacher and scholar who did a significant amount of work in Philadelphia. He earned a Ph.D with Rutgers University, writing an interdisciplinary dissertation titled “Towards a Transgender Sublime: The Politics of Excess in Trans-specific Cultural Production", while enriching his studies with a parallel career in public health consulting. With Prevention Point Philadelphia, the Gay and Lesbian Latino AIDS Education Initiative and funding from the U.S. Center for Disease Control, Singer helped found the Trans-health Information Project (TIP) to address the unsafe injection of silicone and hormones by trans and GNC individuals.


1.2 Linear feet (4 boxes)

Language of Materials



Ben Singer was an active voice in the Philadelphia transgender community from the 1990s to 2000s and beyond. The Singer papers collection spans 1989 to 2007 and is comprised of organizational paperwork dealing with the trans-focused public health initiatives he helped found (the Trans-health Information project) and the local politics surrounding community outreach and activism. Included are files about community events, news articles relating to the trans community (including ones Singer wrote), and social groups.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Ben Singer, 2014

Related Materials

William Way LGBT Community Center ephemera files on the "Philadelphia Trans Health Conference."


Ben Singer papers, 1989-2007
Toby Makowski
November 10, 2017
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the John J. Wilcox, Jr. LGBT Archives, William Way LGBT Community Center Repository

1315 Spruce Street
Philadelphia PA 19107