#OurTufts Features Misha Eliasziw
"I had already transitioned when I arrived at Tufts about 10 years ago from a university located in a very conservative region of Canada. My transition created a lot of discomfort for faculty and staff there. Tufts hired me as a transgender woman and there were no issues with being accepted as Misha. Also, I have layers of privilege. I have a PhD, I’m a professor, I’m white. Academia insulates and protects you. I don’t take any of that for granted.
I don’t consider myself a transgender activist. I’m happy to sit on an LGBTQ committee or task force, but I think that just being visible as a transgender person is important, too. I’m a biostatistician and I do research and teach graduate students. For some students, I’m the first transgender person they have met, and some come with preconceived notions of what we’re like. I like to think that especially for my public health and medical students, I’m defying the myths and misconceptions they have about transgender people. My hope is that their interactions with me are positive, and that they’ll carry these impressions into their professions as they encounter transgender people."
Misha Eliasziw is an Associate Professor of Public Health and Community Medicine.
#OurTufts is a series of personal stories shared by members of the Tufts community. | (Photo: Alonso Nichols/Tufts University)