This collection contains the academic, political, professional, and personal papers of Carter Lynn Thurmond. Materials include DVDs, books that have been extracted from the collection, audiovisual material, photographs, and electronic and paper records. The material chronicles Thurmond’s academic years as an undergraduate and graduate student. His published thesis and audio interviews with LGBTQ people in Louisiana along with thesis drafts are included. The collection also comprises of Thurmond’s political life as an anti-capitalist and LGBTQ activist within student and community led groups in Louisiana which include pamphlets, a zine, emails, meeting minutes, and correspondence. The writings of Monique Wittig and other lesbian feminists are also represented. The Sexual Trauma Awareness & Response series includes administrative records and Thurmond’s writings on rape and gender anxiety.
Thurmond’s personal papers consist of letters, cards, facebook and text messages, and emails to and from Thurmond’s romantic partners and friends. Thurmond’s archived social media accounts are included along with Thurmond’s personal journals which include diary entries and notes on various writers such as Simone de Beauvoir and Leslie Feinberg along with Thurmond’s thesis notes. The collection also includes donated books, documentaries, lectures, and films revolving around feminist, lesbian, queer, and trans identity. Most of the collection material dates range from 2008-2015.
Box 1 and 2 are open for use in the Elmer L. Andersen Library reading room and are unrestricted. Box 3 is restricted until 2026 unless there is permission from the donor to view the material. Pseudonyms must be used for anyone other than Carter Thurmond who is mentioned in box 3.
Conditions Governing Use
This collection may be protected by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code). It is the user's responsibility to verify copyright ownership and to obtain all necessary permissions prior to the reproduction, publication, or other use of any portion of these materials. Researchers may quote from the collection under the fair use provision of the copyright law.
The Carter Lynn Thurmond papers comprises of his academic, political, professional, and personal papers along with donated books, audio interviews and presentations, documentaries, and films.
Biographical / Historical
Carter Lynn Thurmond was born June 4, 1989 and was raised in Slidell, Louisiana. He was raised as a girl and legally named Catherine. From 2008-2012 Thurmond majored in Sociology at Southeastern Louisiana University where Rebecca Hensley's sexuality course drastically altered Thurmond’s understanding of gender and sexuality. Thurmond began identifying as bisexual as a result. Thurmond also took part in anti-capitalist and LGBTQ activist groups when he became involved in a polyamorous relationship at Southeastern. Within these activist groups, Thurmond helped bring speakers such as Jordan Flaherty and The Beehive Design Collective to Southeastern.
Thurmond then moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana to attend graduate school at Louisiana State University in 2012. Thurmond majored in Liberal Arts with a minor in Women's and Gender Studies. He became interested in second wave feminism and lesbian feminism while also spearheading the Baton Rouge Feminist Consciousness Raising Group. In 2013, Thurmond began volunteering as a Sexual Assault Hospital Advocate at STAR, Sexual Trauma Awareness & Response, then later served as their Outreach Coordinator through AmeriCorps.
After meeting his first girlfriend at an AmeriCorps retreat in Louisiana, Thurmond began a relationship with her and soon came out as a lesbian. After serving together in AmeriCorps and after Thurmond graduated from LSU and published his thesis, The False Idealization of Heteronormativity and the Repression of Queerness, the two moved together to Minneapolis, Minnesota. Right after gay marriage was legalized nationwide in the summer of 2015, Thurmond came out as trans and began going by the name Carter instead of Cathy. As of 2016, he identifies as transmasculine and a dyke. Thurmond also spearheaded the Twin Cities Queer Masculinity group in 2016 and is pursuing a career as an archivist.