Monday, 06. 29. 2009
Dispelling myths, educating people, and providing human connections are primary goals of the INTRAA Speakers Bureau. Since its inception in October 2003, the Speakers Bureau has provided over 100 panels and lectures comprised of intelligent, informed transgender speakers to universities and community and professional groups throughout the state. The typical event has been comprised of three to four panelists, a moderator, and an audience of 30 to 40 people. Upon request, we can also provide specialists who can do Trans 101 lectures, facilitate Q&A’s, etc.
INTRAA is committed to providing well-informed, articulate individuals who can explain the issues involved with living as a transgender person in Indiana. Our panels have reached over 3,000 people.
The response to our presentations has been overwhelmingly positive. For many people this is their first, and perhaps only, interaction with transgender individuals, and they are typically very grateful for the opportunity to hear our stories and to ask questions. They are impressed with our ability to communicate our lives and issues, and they gain a lot of respect and appreciation for us and our experiences.
“Recently three members of INTRAA’s Speakers Bureau came to my class, ‘Mediating Queerness’ at Indiana University. They were absolutely phenomenal!! My class loved listening to their experience and really got a lot out of the presentation,” noted Jeffrey Bennett, an Indiana University Instructor.
After a presentation to a large group of Indiana University Residence Programs staff, Associate Director of Residence Life William Shipton observed, “We have heard many positive comments and you have opened the door for us to look at our policies and procedures. Thanks so much.”
It is often said that the best thing that a gay person can do to advance the cause of gay rights is to be “out” as a gay person to family, friends, and acquaintances. This is true, because it is hard for people to hold on to their misconceptions and stereotypes about gay people when someone they know and love is gay. Now they have to reconcile any animosity or bias they may have accumulated against gay people as a group with their feelings of love, admiration, and respect for their friend or loved one. Once they are forced to put a name and a face with being gay, many of their preconceived ideas fall away and a truer picture emerges as to just exactly who gay people are. In fact, most people come to realize that there is not a big difference between most gay people and themselves.
The same is true for transgender people. Letting people know us and our stories helps them to put a name and face with being transgender. It gives people a frame of reference from which to discern that transgender people are as diverse as any other group of people and that transgender people are also a lot like themselves. It helps to counter the myths and stereotypes that many people have about transgender people, typically gained from seeing marginalized people exploited on daytime talk shows or the internet.
One by one, as we go through these panel presentations, the awareness level of the public is increasing, and people are getting a truer representation of just who we are and what issues our diverse community faces.
- Transgender Hoosier and Her Supporters Bring New Era to Muncie Hospital
- Transgender Hoosier Alleges Discrimination at Muncie Hospital
- “The Vagina Monologues” by Eve Ensler – Performance to Benefit INTRAA
Each time a person stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope. That ripple builds others. Those ripples—crossing each other from a million different centers of energy—build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and injustice.
–Senator Robert F. Kennedy, 1966
- DC Police's Disclosure of Victim's Transgender ID Questioned - DCist.com
- Human Rights Campaign Is On the Road to Equality - Passport Magazine (blog)
- Judge Orders Illinois To Issue New Birth Certificates To Transgender Litigants - Huffington Post
- DADT Repeal Finally Certified - Campus Progress
Matt Kailey – Examiner.com
- Changes for Transgender & Transsexual Issues Examiner April 27, 2010
- University of Pennsylvania student insurance plan to pay for transition costs April 17, 2010
- Arrest made in murder of New York transgender woman Amanda Gonzalez-Andujar April 15, 2010
- Women get prison in murder of transsexual man April 12, 2010
- The murders of transgender women must end April 9, 2010