Margot Wilson is an anthropologist by training and profession. She retired in 2018 from the University of Victoria in British Columbia, Canada where she taught for 30 years in the Department of Anthropology, was Chair of her department, Associate Dean of Social Sciences, and Associate Dean and Acting Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies. Margot’s career as an anthropologist began with field research in South Asia where she lived in a bamboo hut with no running water or electricity in a rural village in northwest Bangladesh, learning to be a village woman by living as one. She has also undertaken research at a shelter for abandoned women and children in Dhaka (the capital city of Bangladesh) and at the Danish-Bangladesh Leprosy Missions in rural northwest Bangladesh.
In 2014, after attending the “Elders Panel” at the Moving Trans History Forward conference at the University of Victoria, Margot’s longstanding research interests in gender, personal narrative, and story telling lead to her collaborate with three trans elders to write their life stories. The first of these life histories, Girl in the Dream, is the life story of Stephanie Castle, a Canadian trans woman, activist, and writer, which was published in 2018 by TransGender Publishing, a publishing company Margot opened in 2017, the first publishing house in Canada to focus specifically on transgender issues.
Perceptions Press was opened in 1992 by Stephanie Castle as a vehicle for publishing her early non-fiction writing and novels focused on trans themes, At that time, Stephanie’s writing on trans issues was very much ahead of its time, providing provocative and cutting-edge insights into the trans experience.
In 2005, Perceptions Press became part of Vibrant Publishing, although Stephanie retained 50% ownership in the company. In 2016, prior to Stephanie’s death in the spring of 2017, Margot and Stephanie agreed to jointly open Castle Carrington Publishing, as a parent company under which Margot would bring TransGender Publishing and Stephanie would bring Stephanie Castle Publications. When Stephanie passed away, her executor signed over Stephanie Castle Publications, along with Stephanie’s 50% ownership in Perceptions Press, to Margot. In March 2020, the owner of Vibrant Press retired and signed over the remaining 50% ownership in Perceptions Press to Margot.
During a rebranding exercise in 2023, Margot chose to designate Perceptions Press as the parent company with TransGender Publishing, Stephanie Castle Publications, Castle Carrington Publishing, and All Genders Press designated as divisions thereof. The intent behind this reorganization was to honour Stephanie Castle, her vision, and the 1992 legacy of Perceptions Press. To date, over 70 books have been published by the Perceptions Press family of publishing companies, a majority of which are focused on trans stories.
Margot is enthusiastic about the Transmen Can Cook project as it brings together a diverse group of chefs to share the stories that contextualize their love of cooking and all things food related. This volume is one-of-a-kind in that it reaches beyond the parameters of traditional cookbooks to embrace the chefs’ experiences with the social, ethnic, and cultural expectations that surround and permeate our concepts of food, sustenance, nutrition and consumption. As such, this volume creates a place where fellowship, culinary skill, personal experience, and memoir come together to explicate what it means to be a transman who expresses love through cuisine in the world today.