Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Wonderful Discussion At U of L's Ali Institute

It's Pride Week on the U of L campus and I spent a wonderful few hours this afternoon leading a brown bag panel discussion of the subject of gender neutral bathrooms.

It was sponsored by the Muhammad Ali Institute For Peace and Justice, which is located on the second floor of U of L's Ekstrom Library.

As I like to do with any speaking engagement, even though it was a noon start, I like getting there early. I enjoy walking around on college campuses, talking to staff and students and observing what's going on.

I had a chance to chat with Ali Institute staff members Stacy Bailey-Ndiaye, Erika R. Stith, and Mikal Forbush and two Ali Scholar students who dropped in before we got started with the panel discussion.

I also discovered that two of the students attending read TransGriot on a regular basis.

We ended up covering issues beyond just gender neutral bathroom ones. We discussed a wide variety of topics such as intersex issues, Caster Semenya, trans ID issues and race and gender in the hour and ten minutes I was there.

I was also surprised and pleased to get the neat U of L Ali Institute note pad I received as a token of the staff's appreciation when it ended. It's definitely going to be put to good use.

Before I left the U of L campus I paid a courtesy call to Brian Buford and the gang at the Office of LGBT Services. We had a brief discussion about how the event was going as he gave me a quick tour of the place.

Just an FYI, the 2009 edition of U of L Pride Week will continue until September 29.

On my way to the Red Barn where it's located, passed by a fundie preacher spouting the usual anti GLBT hate screed. After I grabbed something to eat I was going to go mess with his head a bit but he'd ended his christodiatribe by the time I exited the Student Center.

So as you can tell, I had a wonderful time on campus. I deeply appreciate the gracious invitation the Muhammad Ali Institute staff extended to me and the warm welcome I received from them and the students attending today.

I'm looking forward to helping them with another event in the near future.

1 comment:

Zoe Renee said...

what an excellent experience that must have been Monica! by any chance are there any video recordings of your discussion? I would love to see!