The University of Massachusetts Amherst


Derek Siegel

PhD Candidate (they/them)

I am a sociologist and feminist scholar whose work examines race, class, and gender inequalities with a focus on 1) reproduction, parenting, and family, and 2) transgender people's experiences in other institutional contexts (i.e., the workplace and the law).

In my dissertation, I examine how race, class, and gender shape trans women's parenting journeys. I conducted 54 semi-structured interviews with current and prospective parents across North America, including 27 white trans women and 27 trans women of color. Using the intersectional concepts of transmisogyny and racialized transmisogyny, I argue that trans women face unique barriers to parenting and becoming a parent but also share challenges with other minoritized parents. My findings speak more broadly to theory regarding the increased policing and regulation of motherhood, the perceived link between motherhood and womanhood, and ongoing transformations in family structure. This project is funded by the American Sociological Association, the UMass Graduate School, and the UMass Center for Research on Families. 


M.A., Sociology, University of Massachusetts - Amherst, 2019

B.A., Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, American University, 2014

Research Areas

Gender & Sexuality; Feminist Theory; Race; Reproduction; Trans Studies; U.S. Politics

Selected Publications

Siegel, Derek P. (2021). "Wanting a 'Feminist Abortion Experience': Emotion Work, Collective Identity, and Pro-Choice Discourse.Sociological Forum 36(2). Online Access.

Siegel, Derek P. (2021). Trans moms discuss their unique parenting challenges during the pandemic- and what they worry about when things go back to ‘normal’.” The Conversation. Online.

Siegel, Derek P. (2020). "Medicalization and Naturalization: Understanding Abortion as a Naturecultural Phenomeon." Catalyst: Feminism, Theory & Technoscience 6(2):1-25.

Siegel, Derek P. (2019). "Transgender Experiences of Transphobia in Higher Education." Sociology Compass 13(10).