Sunday, February 04, 2018

A Busy Spring

The spring speaking engagements are shaping up nicely;
  • February 13: CCSU – Discussion 
  • February 21: Institute for Community Research – Presentation 
  • March 16: True Color Conference – Presentation
  • March 27: Albertus Magnus College – Lecture 
  • March 29: UConn SSW – Panel discussion
  • May 4: NASW Conference – Presentation

Hopefully more speaking engagements will come along for later spring, I usually get a few after my workshop at the NSAW Connecticut chapter’s conference in May.

I don’t like just answering questions in a classroom, I much rather give a workshop because I think that I cover much more usefully topic when I give a presentation that a discussion in a classroom. With a discussion in a classroom setting most of the questions are of the type that I call curiosity questions like “how did you pick your name?” while with a presentation I can cover a topic as to why you shouldn’t ask a trans person what their “deadname” was. I do only one “discussion” because I have been doing it for a professor’s class for almost ten years now. I have stepped away from the Stonewall Speakers for the same reason, the questions that are asked are for the most superficial and also the quality of their speakers sometimes are lacking.

A couple of feedback responses from the student’s journals…

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 [Teacher Certification Program for College Graduates] 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 transexual.

*****

Now being an educated grad student I was fully aware of was exactly a transsexual was and that the transexual 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 transexual, 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.

*****

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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