The second part of my woman's day involved doing outreach at two Human Sexuality classes at Southern Connecticut State University. Professor Schildroth has been inviting me to her classes in New Haven for the past eight years and I always try to accept her invitations schedule permitting.
Lately, there have been four of us doing outreach for Professor Schildroth's classes: Michelle, a post-op male-to-female transsexual, Quinton, a post-op female-to-male transsexual, Mary-Ann, a no-op no-HRT male-to-female transgender, and myself.
We start each class by giving a brief biography, then the class gets split in two with the post-op folks doing Q&A with one half of the class and the no-op folks doing Q&A with the other half. Half way through the class, we switch groups so that all the students have an opportunity to quiz the post-ops and no-ops alike.
Sometimes the students are very hesitant about asking questions, but that was not the case on Tuesday. Each of the four groups of students we outreached had at least one member who was anxious to ask us questions and once the ball gets rolling, it seems to loosen things up and other students chime in with questions.
Many of the questions we have heard before. For example, on Tuesday, we were asked how we chose our female names. (That is probably the most common question we get.) On the other hand, the students often surprise us with questions we have never heard before. One question that we don't get too often, but was asked twice on Tuesday is how do we identify sexually. ("Lesbian" was my reply.)
One question from Tuesday that I never heard before was what is the one thing we want to get across to the students?
My reply was that we are not freaks like you may have seen on the Jerry Springer show. Rather, we are just like everybody else, average people you encounter anywhere --- and then I added --- we just dress better (that got a big laugh).
In between classes, we went to the student center to eat a snack and chat. I had a wardrobe malfunction while walking to the student center. The high heel of my shoe got stuck in a crack in the sidewalk and I lost my balance. Luckily, Professor Schildroth was at my side and caught me before I fell and hit the concrete. That was a close call!
In the past, I have received compliments from the ladies who work in the food court and Tuesday was no exception. As I perused the menus of the food court restaurants, a woman behind one of the counters caught my eye and mouthed the words, "I love your dress." I mouthed back a thank-you and with that, I decided to buy something to eat from her establishment.
Tuesday's outreach was one of the more enjoyable ones I have participated in. The students seemed to enjoy it, too, and most of them wanted to participate in the group photos, which I posted here on Wednesday.
And when we posed for the photo in the late afternoon class, instead of saying “cheese” to put smiles on everyone’s faces, we said “femulate.”
How cool is that!
Professional femulator Sarah Mitch.