Sunday, February 19, 2017

Good Morning, Class. Good Morning, Class. Class? Class!?

Those words made immortal by Sister Mary Elephant while she tries to get the attention of the students, back then if you were trans you could expect to get fired and now you probably a 50/50 chance of getting fried depending upon where you live.
Transgender professor teaches tolerance along with math
Orlando Sentinel
By Gabrielle Russon
February 17, 2017

The professor wastes no time to make a revealing announcement on the first day of class.

Students signed up for Kimberly Milton's math class at Valencia College's west campus. But there is no Kimberly —  it’s Kory, their professor says.

"I’m transgender," Milton says matter-of-factly to the sleepy-eyed students in the 8:30 a.m. class in early January.  "If you have any questions whatsoever, I am an open book about my transition. I’m not in hiding. I’m not afraid to be who I am."

There is no visible reaction among his students —  just like he hoped —  and Milton moves on quickly to talk about his syllabus.

For some of his students, Milton is the first transgender person they have ever met. He accepts that he is an ambassador and hopes the lessons from his class run deeper than how to do intermediate algebra.

“I’m glad they can see another positive role model being trans,” Milton says about pushing for respect in his classroom. “We’re normal people, just like you, who live everyday lives.”
When I do guest lecturers most of the time the professors doesn’t mention that I’m trans and that is the way I like it. When I gave a lecture at a Catholic college this is what some of the students said,
After meeting Diana during Tuesday’s class, I immediately thought about my personal reflection paper and what lessons where taught to me growing up in church and in my family. In all honesty, I never thought I would ever have a lengthy conversation or receive a lecture from someone transgender just based on my upbringing.


This week, the biggest eye-opener and learning moments came from the reading and the class visit from Diana.
By standing up in front of the class professor Milton is bringing change to many lives beyond his wildest dreams. We bring about change because we are willing to come out and be teacher.

One time I was waiting for our reservations at a restaurant in downtown Hartford and this group was just leaving the restaurant and a woman stopped and said to me, “You probably don’t remember me but you spoke on my social work class. And because of your lecture I knew when to do when a client came out to me as trans.”

When you stand up in front of a class you are like a snowball rolling downhill getting bigger and bigger. Professor Milton is creating something that brings change not to those in his class but also to all that his students touch.

For those of you who don't know who Sister Mary Elephant is and for those of you who do here is a video from Cheech & Chong.

No comments: