Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Back in the classroom

No, I haven't gone back to school. Although I admit I do consider it now and again.

Really what's up is I've had the opportunity recently to be on some panels in a few college "Human Sexuality" classes. I belong to a speaker's bureau at CSU and sometimes professors like to have a panel of people to share real-life experiences. Because I work freelance I'm often able to schedule around other jobs, as was the case both yesterday and today.

It's a great experience to be able to sit in a room full of people who, for the most part, genuinely seem to want to hear our stories. The panels usually consist of transgender, gay, lesbian and bi individuals, and each of us have unique stories.

The questions we get are always interesting and vary from the typical (for me, it's usually a question of where I am now spiritually, and how my family deals with my sexuality) to the unusual (yesterday we were asked something along the lines of why a femme lesbian would want to date a very butch lesbian--wouldn't she just rather date a man at that point?)

The unusual questions, or those that rely on (often incorrect) stereotypes make me really glad that we're doing this, and that these folks are asking the questions. How are they going to know if they don't ask? And I figure there's at least a couple other people that have the same questions who aren't brave enough to ask. How recently was it that we didn't even have these types of panels and discussion in college classes?

Even if someone goes into the class feeling like homosexuality is "wrong" or a sin, I'm hoping that at least they leave with the knowledge that I'm a human being with feelings. I've put a name and a face to something they may not have had a lot of exposure to, and I'm so glad to do it.

We often get a lot of compliments, too, and people who are so supportive of us--especially those of us who have had a hard time coming to terms with our identites. Today we touched briefly on the genetics (nature/nurture) debate and the idea that being gay was something bad that should be fixed.

I mentioned the theme of "brokenness" that runs through the ex-gay world and spoke of the title of my blog being representative of my new outlook on my wholeness. A girl spoke up and said, "Yeah, you don't seem broken to me at all!" and beamed at me.

What a sweet moment.

6 comments:

  1. I know it is such a great feeling that maybe we are making a difference for the next generation of GLBT youth. I was standing in line waiting for our reservations at a local restaurant when this woman walked up to me and said that she was in a class that I did outreach in. That she now has a patient who is transgender and because of that class she knew how to connect with her. I was floating on cloud nine for the rest of the evening.

    Oh by the way I now have a blog: http://dianacorner.blogspot.com/

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  2. That's soooooo cool! Back in the mid-90's when I was an undergrad psych major at a public university, there were similar panels on occasion.

    Now, I'm a grad student at a politically moderate, Christian university. I was shocked to see there's a LGBT group on campus. Times are changing!

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  3. How wonderful that you're doing this, and how wonderful that she said that! *hug*

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  4. That's what I love about living in the Bay Area. I attended a university in San Francisco and let me tell you. From the dorms to the students clubs to the curriculum ... my university is gay friendly!
    Bravo to opening up young minds and putting yourself out there!

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  5. Bravo, Christine!
    I've never been to one of those panels (couse I didn't go to college) but they sound thrilling.
    Opening the eyes of one person is wonderful, opening the eyes of multiple people like this, GREAT!

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  6. you may be interested in what is happening on overflowmag.com. it is an online mag for christian college students that was originally started for wheaton college. they are posting stories of glbt alumni.

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