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Guest lecturer to answer questions about being transgender

S. Bear Bergman will answer five questions people always want to ask the transsexual (but shouldn’t)

By IZZA JATALA

Staff Writer

“So are you like, male or female?” “Have you had the surgery yet?”

These are just a few questions transgender people are sometimes asked. Though such inquiries may be well-intentioned, they can be unintentionally insensitive, stemming from a lack of information and awareness.

The IU South Bend Women’s & Gender Studies program presents “5 Questions People Always Want to Ask The Transexual (but shouldn’t) (but I’ll answer some of them anyway)” at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 4, in room 225 of the Student Activities Center.

WEB_S_Bear_Bergman

Provided/Zoe Gemelli

Attendees will have a chance to hear from guest speaker S. Bear Bergman on trans* topics, and “about the complexity and richness of the range of human experiences of gender and sexuality,” according to April Lidinsky, director of Women’s & Gender studies program and associate professor of Women’s & Gender studies.

Bergman is an author, theater artist and frequent lecturer regarding issues relating to points of intersection between gender, sexuality, and culture.

According to the event flyer, S. Bear Bergman asks the questions that trans people constantly get asked.

He then turns them inside out and upside down, showing what’s behind them (and how they perpetuate certain myths) on his way to helping audiences gain some real understanding of what trans lives and experiences are all about.

Lidinsky said examining trans* identities helps us think about the function of often limiting assumptions about gender and sexuality in our own lives and the lives of other.

She said opening dialogue on these topic will provide attendees with the language and framework to understand trans* identities and enable them to teach others these ideas.

“The more we all make conversations about the great range of gender identities a common part of our everyday experiences, the more equity we can build in our families, on our campuses, in our workplaces, and in our culture in general,” Lidinsky said.

She added that students and their family and friends are all welcome to attend this event.

“S. Bear Bergman is an exciting and entertaining speaker who will interact with the audience during his presentation, and then invite people to respond during a question and answer session that follows,” she said.

There will be a reception with snacks afterward in the same room. Lidinsky hopes people will linger and talk with one another about all the ideas in the presentation.

“Attendees can expect an unexpected kind of academic talk – lively, based in both theory and story-telling, and full of assumption-busting ideas about gender.”

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