Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Low-Down on Outreach


Next Thursday, I make my semiannual trip to Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven to do outreach at two Human Sexuality classes. The classes have about 30 students each and typically female students outnumber males about 5 to 1.

What is outreach?

It may mean different things to different people, but in my case, the outreach scenario is as follows:

There is a panel that may include male-to-female, female-to-male, post-op, pre-op, and no-op transgenders. I have been in panels where there were as few as two transgenders and as many as eight transgenders.

We each speak for about five minutes and tell our life stories in a nutshell. Then the students ask us questions.

The goal is educate the Human Sexuality class  about transgenders. My personal goal is to demonstrate to the students that transgenders are people just like them. Hopefully, our mini-biographies and our responses to the questions will help achieve those goals. The reactions of the students indicates that in much of the time, we are successful.



Source: Femulate Archives

A femulator, circa 1970.



Source: Belle & Clive

Wearing Andrew Marc.


  1. Stana,

    I have read, with pleasure, your prior posts about your on campus outreach efforts. Your good work at outreach does not stop at the classroom door and does not end with those students who have a particular interest in Human Sexuality. Those students will relate the classroom experiences to other students. They may even bring it up in discussions with their friends and familys. Your good acts and your service as a gender ambassador will have impact beyond those who you encounter in the classrooms.

    In prior years you have mentioned stopping and shopping or eating out while you are enroute to or from the campus. Here too, everyone you meet has the opportunity to come away from that encounter with a smile on their face and a good feeling from having met you.

    Keep on keeping on doing what you are doing and keep doing it with that infections and ever present 'Stana smile'.


  2. Your out-reach is a very good thing! Kudos to you, Stana!

    The femulater from 1970 looks very good.

  3. Absolutely! Stana you are Ambassadress numero uno!

    Has there ever been a conversation that is about gender expression and natural gender fluidity between sexes? As it pertains to the societal contradiction between the gamut of female expressiveness, (Tomboy to girly girl) and the natural and imposed male emotional and physical expressive limitations? Would we still be "transgender" if society allowed "feminine" constructs to be expressed by those men who self identify to some degree non cis gender?

    1. That question has never come up.

      When we do away with the social constructs of feminine and masculine, then transgender goes away, too. No?

    2. In the absolute yes, I guess my meant is that we do away with the sex = gender construct. The association by society to label feminine and masculine to specific birth sex. We all can see (or at least those of us not cloudy be those constructs) that femininity and masculine are fluid between sex and should not be exclusive to that sex.

    3. Actually transgender going away is not at bad thing. As I believe it is just the label we use because we are not conforming to the constructs of society. No?

  4. I commend anyone, such as you, who can get out there and demonstrate that we are, indeed, human beings.

    Incredibly beautiful human beings, to be sure, but human beings nonetheless.


    1. Thank you, Laurette.

      Whenever I show up to do outreach, I always feel that the students are expecting stereotypes from The Jerry Springer Show. We usually dissuade them of that notion.

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