Tuesday, February 14, 2017

It’s About Me Today

I have been scanning the news looking for something that I could write about other than the bad news coming out of Washington and I couldn’t find anything. So…

Yesterday I did an outreach at a college a couple miles from my house, Central Connecticut State University for a PSYC class. I have been talking in her class for about 6 or 7 years, when I first started I was on a panel of about 4 or 5 LGBT people and over time the organization that was arranging the panel members fell through and now she contacts me directly.

I have moved away from panel discussions for a couple of reasons, first when it is an LGBT panel there usually isn’t any B’s on the panel and second most of the questions are for us the “T.” Another reason is there are some horrible answers from the other panel members; I remember one time someone on the panel said that the best time to come out is over a holiday! She said she came out at Thanksgiving… UGH! That is the very worst time to come out.

What I like is when the professor turns the class over to me to give a lecture. A couple of professors that I had in grad school do that, a friend who teaches as an adjunct professors in three colleges invites me to teach his classes for the day. I also do a lot of training for businesses and state agencies. I am working on a date to do training at a court house in the state, a social worker saw my presentation at a National Association of Social Workers. She thought it would be good training for the judges and staff.

Most of the questions yesterday were pretty standard question about coming out to family and friends, how does hormones affect you, how did you pick your name, etc. and I have the answers down pat and do not really cover what future therapist will need to know for their practice. That is why I like it when I do the class, they get information that they can use when they graduate.

Some of the student responses from various classes were,
I got to class on weds at 4 minutes past 2pm. When I walked into the class I was given a soft accepting smile from the person who appeared to be teaching for the day, so I quickly put down my stuff, shook off all the wet, (it was absolutely pouring outside, which is why I was a little late((people can't drive in the rain in Hartford)) and begin to listen. I was very taken by how brave she was and I found her life story to be quite moving and inspiring. The video clips that she played were particularly touching and I found it hard to turn away. Especially the girl that wanted her parent to call her Jazz and to block her puberty. Overall, I learned a lot on weds and I must admit I knew nothing about the subject of trans gender before I walked into class, but I knew a ton after I left..

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When it was announced that we would have a guest speaker for our next class I originally thought nothing of it. I’ve had a good experience with guest speakers in the TCPCG program so far and I was excited to hear what the guest lecturer would say. When I walked into class on Wednesday I remember seeing the back of a tall woman standing in front of our class, thinking she was our guest, and proceeded to sit down and open up my computer. About 5 minutes later the guest came forward and she said that we were going to start the lecture. Once the guest lecturer starting talking and I began to look at her a bit more in detail, I realized something very interesting - our guest speaker was a transsexual [sic].
Now being an educated grad student I was fully aware of was exactly a transsexual was and that the transexual [sic] community is growing every day, however, as far as I know, this was my first time meeting one. The weird thing however was that it didn’t seem like I was meeting a transsexual [sic], but rather just another women - a guest lecturer. Once you get past the deep voice and the 6’2” figure, there was nothing weird or different here, just another woman. When the lecture started I was expecting to learn all about life as a transsexual, and while she did touch on this a little, she was focused more on the big picture. The picture being that there are thousands of transexuals and people dreaming of being a different gender all around us, and often times they either go unnoticed or are looked as weirdly or differently. I think the message she was trying to tell us is that although on the outside we may look a little strange, it is really who they are on the inside that matters.

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Hello Diana,
I wanted to write and thank you so much for your presentation at CMHS at UCONN [University of Connecticut Counseling and Mental Health Services] last Thursday. When I picked up my daughters (ages 12 and 13) after school that I day I told them I had just heard from one of the bravest people I'd ever met. We then had a very long conversation about what it means to not identify with your birth gender and the challenges and discrimination faced by the Trans-Gender community.
When I give a professional training I usually dress in business casual; slacks, a blouses, and low heel pumps or ankle boots or sandals depending upon the season. While for college classes I wear jeans, a tee shirt or a blouse with ankle boots or sneakers.

I go back to her class again this afternoon to talk to her other section.

Edited : 12:30 PM Added about what I wear to college lectures.


1 comment:

joanna Santos said...

well done. That is what we need good outreach!