Wednesday, July 30, 2014

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DePaul Hosts ‘Transgendered’ Activist for Lecture on Womanhood

DePaul University will be hosting a “transgendered” speaker to discuss an “overall mission to broaden society’s portrait of womanhood,” according to the University’s website.

Janet Mock, who was born Charles Mock, is the founder of the #girlslikeus media project and the author of Redefining Realness.  Mock is also reportedly a board member at the Arcus Foundation, which describes itself as a “leading global foundation advancing pressing social justice and conservation issues.  Specifically, Arcus works to advance LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) equality, as well as to conserve and protect the great apes.”

The largest Catholic university in the country describes the event this way:

Learn about her journey, work and mission.  Since sharing her story, Janet has traveled the country addressing audiences from Columbia and Stanford to Wellesley and University of Pennsylvania.  Through her presentations she describes her lived experiences as a trans woman of color and contextualizes those experiences to draw connections between her life, her work and her overall mission to broaden society’s portrait of womanhood.  She speaks about the power of storytelling, the history of trans women-led movements, the media’s portrayals of trans women, and the personal-political dynamics of visibility.

Amazon describes Mock’s book as following “Mock’s quest for identity, from an early, unwavering conviction about her gender to a turbulent adolescence in Honolulu that saw her transitioning during the tender years of high school, self-medicating with hormones at fifteen, and flying across the world alone for sex reassignment surgery at just eighteen.”  According to the poster from the Student Activities Board, the book will be made available to students after the lecture.

Just last year, DePaul University sponsored a workshop for students and professors to learn how to be “trans allies in the classroom,” according to the University’s website.

The event titled “Trans(formation) DePaul,” was sponsoredby LGBTQA Student Services, a committee of students, faculty, staff and alumni formed in 2003 to identify the needs of DePaul’s LGBTQA communities and evaluate how the university was responding to those needs, according to the organization’s website.

The poster for the event stated, “We will encourage everyone to reflect on what it means to create a safe space for gender nonconforming students.  We will present helpful information and terminology about trans identities and provide strategies to create a welcoming environment for students of all genders.  We will also strategize around how students can effectively respond to uninclusive [sic] classroom settings.”

DePaul has already been listed as a homosexual-friendly Catholic college by New Ways Ministries. And recently, The Cardinal Newman Society reported that a law professor from the Jesuit Seattle University, Dean Spade, whom one magazine called “America’s first openly transgender law professor,” delivered a lecture on transgender issues at DePaul. Spade seeks to dismantle the “myth of biological binary gender” altogether. 

Catholic Education Daily is an online publication of The Cardinal Newman Society. Click here for email updates and free online membership with The Cardinal Newman Society.

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