Professional Bio

Dr. Brainer is Associate Professor and Director of Women’s & Gender Studies and LGBTQ+ Studies at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. She is the author of Queer Kinship and Family Change in Taiwan (2019, Rutgers), for which she received the Ruth Benedict Prize from the Association for Queer Anthropology. Her current research follows queer and trans individuals and couples as they navigate marriage-based immigration to the United States. At UM-Dearborn, she is faculty advisor to Pride and teaches courses on LGBTQ+ Religious Experience; Family Diversity and Power; Colonialism, Race, and Sexuality; and other topics.

Get a copy of Queer Kinship and Family Change in Taiwan:

Follow this link to order from the publisher. If you cannot afford the cost of the book, please let me know and I will share the PDF with you. If you are in the UK, you can borrow this book for free from the Gender Community Lending Library.

Personal Bio

As is true for many researchers, my work and life experiences are intertwined. As a child, I lived in mainland China with my US citizen parents and developed an interest in family migration during this period. I am queer and femme, and navigated the US immigration process with a T (butch/transmasculine) former partner. I’m glad to answer questions about my story and how it pertains to my research. I try to practice transparency and vulnerability in my research and teaching. When I am not working, you will find me watching dramas on Viki, picking out acrylic nail designs, and group chatting with my family.

(endorsement by my niece)