Sullivan Hall 430
(206) 398-4326


B.A., Barnard College
J.D., UCLA Law School


Poverty Law
Administrative Law
Critical Perspectives on Transgender Law

Dean Spade

Associate Professor of Law

Curriculum VitaePDF


Prior to joining the faculty of Seattle University, Dean was a Williams Institute Law Teaching Fellow at UCLA Law School and Harvard Law School, teaching classes related to sexual orientation and gender identity law and law and social movements.

In 2002, Dean founded the Sylvia Rivera Law Project (www.srlp.org), a non-profit law collective that provides free legal services to transgender, intersex and gender non-conforming people who are low-income and/or people of color. SRLP also engages in litigation, policy reform and public education on issues affecting these communities and operates on a collective governance model, prioritizing the governance and leadership of trans, intersex, and gender variant people of color. While working at SRLP, Dean taught classes focusing on sexual orientation, gender identity and law at Columbia and Harvard Law Schools.

Dean was recently awarded a Dukeminier Award for his 2008 article "Documenting Gender" and the 2009-2010 Haywood Burns Chair at CUNY Law School, and was selected to give the 2009-2010 James A. Thomas Lecture at Yale.



Documenting Gender: Incoherence and Rulemaking, 59 HASTINGS L. J. 731 (2008), awarded the 2008 Dukeminier Award and reprinted in UCLA Journal of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Law [forthcoming].

Be Professional!, forthcoming in HARVARD JOURNAL OF LAW AND GENDER (2010).

Trans Law Reform Strategies, Co-Optation, and the Potential for Transformative Change, 30 WOMEN'S RIGHTS L. R. 288 (2009).

Trans Politics on a Neoliberal Landscape, 18 TEMP. POL. & CIV. RTS. L. REV. 353 (2009).

"Documenting Gender." 59 Hastings L.J. 731 (2008).

"The State We're In: Locations of Coercion and Resistance in Trans Policy, Part I." Sexuality, Research and Social Policy: Journal of NSRC, Vol. 4, Issue 4, pp. 1–6, Co-authored with Paisley Currah (2007).

"The State We're In: Locations of Coercion and Resistance in Trans Policy, Part II." Sexuality, Research and Social Policy: Journal of NSRC, Vol. 5, Issue 1, pp. 1–5, Co-authored with Paisley Currah (2007).

"The Nonprofit Industrial Complex and Trans Resistance." Sexuality, Research and Social Policy: Journal of NSRC, Vol. 5, Issue 1, pp. 53–71, Co-authored with Rickke Manazala.

"Methodology and Trans Resistance." (Forthcoming in A Companion to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Studies (Blackwell Companions in Cultural Studies), eds. McGarry and Haggerty.

"Compliance is Gendered: Transgender Survival and Social Welfare." Transgender Rights, eds. Paisley Currah, Shannon Minter, Richard Juang (2006).

"Mutilating Gender," in The Transgender Reader, eds. Susan Stryker and Stephen Whittle (2006)

"For Lovers and Fighters." We Don't Need Another Wave: Dispatches from the Next Generation of Feminists, ed. Melody Berger (2006).

"Remarks at Georgetown Journal of Gender and Law Symposium." in Sex, Gender and Crime: The Politics of the State as Protector and Punisher: The Identity Victim, 7 Geo. J. Gender & L. (2006).

"Freedom in a Regulatory State?: Lawrence, Marriage and Biopolitics." Co-authored with Craig Willse. 11 Widener L. Rev. 309 (2005).

"Fighting to Win." in That's Revolting! Queer Strategies for Resisting Assimilation, ed. Matt Bernstein Sycamore, (2004).

"Once More . . . with Feeling." Inside Out: FTM and Beyond, ed. Morty Diamond, (2004).

"My Memory and My Witness." Co-authored with Elisabeth Goldschmidt, in Without a Net: The Female Experience of Growing Up Working Class, ed. Michelle Tea, (2004).

"Transecting the Academy." Co-authored with Sel Wahng. GLQ 10. 2, (2004).

"Resisting Medicine/Remodeling Gender." 18 Berkeley Women's Law Journal, (2003), excerpted in Sexuality, Gender, and the Law, 2004 Foundation Press, eds. William Eskridge and Nan Hunter.

"Dress to Kill, Fight to Win." LTTR 1. (2002).

"Undeserving Addicts: SSI/SSD and the Penalties of Poverty." 5 Howard Scroll: The Social Justice Law Review 89, (2002).

"Confronting the Limits of Gay Hate Crimes Activism: A Radical Critique." Co-authored with Craig Willse. Chicano-Latino Law Review, Volume 21, (2000).

Book Chapters

Building an Abolitionist Trans & Queer Movement with Everything We've Got, forthcoming in CAPTIVE GENDERS (ed. Eric Stanley and Nat Smith) (AK Press), (co-authored with Morgan Bassichis and Alex Lee).

Notes Toward Racial and Gender Justice Ally Practice in Legal Academia, forthcoming in PRESUMED INCOMPETENT (eds. Gabriella Gutierrez y Muhs, Angela P. Harris, Carmen Gonzalez and Yolanda Niemann) (2011).

"Street Smart." Images: A Journal of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, (2000), Volume 1.

"Outing Age: A Working Paper on Policy Issues Facing GLBT Old People." National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Policy Institute, August 1998. Released as final report November 2000.

"SexPanic!–Make the Connections." Co-authored with Eva Pendleton. Harvard Gay & Lesbian Review, Volume V, Number 3, (1998).

Recent Activity

Reframing Faculty Criticisms of Student Activism

February 10, 2017
Professor Dean Spade raises questions about how teachers respond to campus activism.

Chelsea Manning: a potent symbol for transgender Americans

January 18, 2017
Professor Dean Spade says Chelsea Manning is an "immensely important" figure for the trans movement.

Now Is the Time for 'Nobodies': Dean Spade on Mutual Aid and Resistance in the Trump Era

January 09, 2017
Professor Dean Spade offers thoughts on how activists can be effective under President Trump.

SDCI Approves Youth Jail, Opposition Contemplates Appeal

December 27, 2016
Professor Dean Spade comments on whether Seattle Mayor Ed Murray can block the new youth jail.

Dean Spade on Trans Justice

August 13, 2015
Does visibility create a false story that trans people's struggles are over? Professor Dean Spade comments on CounterSpin.

Ferguson movement probed from radical and pragmatic perspectives

August 07, 2015
One year after protests in Ferguson, Missouri, Professor Dean Spade joined a panel in St. Louis to discuss reform and racial justice.

Dean Spade comments on military rules on transgendered troops

July 15, 2015
"We should prioritize the areas of change where there is the greatest need," Professor Dean Spade told KIRO Radio. (The story begins at 18:37.)

Mayor Murray's LGBTQ-Israel trip under fire

May 06, 2015
Professor Dean Spade calls on Seattle Mayor Ed Murray to cancel an upcoming trip to Israel for "a propaganda conference that promotes Israel as a gay-rights haven in order to cover up the realities of apartheid."