Professor Schildroth has only one human sexuality class this semester rather than two, so I only had one class for outreach. I was joined by four other transwomen --- MaryAnn, another no-op, no-hormone woman like me and three post-op women, Amanda, Kailey and Michelle. I've done outreach with MaryAnn and Michelle many times; Amanda and Kailey were new to me.
As usual, there were a lot more women than men in the class... about 25 women and exactly three men.
Our "outreach" starts off with each of us telling our biographies in a nutshell --- about five minutes each. Then the class is divided between the no-ops and the post-ops so that the students can ask questions. Half way through the class time, the no-ops and post-ops switch sides so that each half of the class gets to question all of us.
I am not sure how effective this is as "outreach" because if the students don't ask the right questions or if we don't touch upon a particular point in our bios, then there will be holes in the students' understanding of what it means to be a transgender person.
However, reading the students' written comments after each session, I think we are making some progress. We usually are able to leave them with the knowledge that we are not freaks. Rather that we are just like they are, that is, human beings just trying to get along in the world.
Most of the students' questions asked of me were typical.
- How did you choose your female name?
- Do you present as a woman all the time?
- Does your spouse support you? Etcetera.
Then there were a couple of atypical questions.
- What was your favorite time growing up? (The late 1960s.)
- What was the weirdest question you were ever asked at outreach? (You just asked it.
Sometimes, I am a little nervous when I do outreach and come across as "sad" and/or "up tight," but on Tuesday, I was very comfortable and as a result, I was humorous and very effusive.
One student commented that I was "cute" in the way I told my story. Another commented about my prowess for walking in heels --- something she has yet to conquer. Still another came up to me after the class, gave me a big hug and said I was "very pretty."
So I guess I did good.
Contestants femulating in the 2014 Mr. CC-E womanless beauty pageant in Spencer, Iowa.