Gender identity discussion set for April 26

April 12, 2011

Are two gender categories, male and female, enough? A discussion about gender identity will challenge the answer to this question.

The talk on "Are Two Enough? Transgenderism, Intersexuality, and the Assumed Sex/Gender Dichotomy" will be held in the University Hall Theater on April 26 at 7 p.m.

Graduate student and president of Student Affiliates in School Psychology Cassie Schmidt said the topic is a bigger issue than what people realize.

"Many people are hearing about this issue but don't know how to approach it," Schmidt said. "It is good for those in a school setting who have students dealing with it to understand."

Knowing that ISU Bayh College of Education Assistant Professor Kand McQueen was an expert on gender identity, Schmidt asked if McQueen would speak on the subject.

McQueen has conducted numerous presentations and workshops nationwide including presenting for the American Educational Research Association and is currently represented by OUTmedia. The mission of OUTmedia is to increase the positive visibility of LGBTQQIA (Lesbian, Gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersexed, and allies) people and promote inclusive multiculturalism through the arts.

The school psychology student organization was awarded an Office of Diversity Student Mini Grant and chose to set up the discussion about transgenderism and intersexuality.

Schmidt decided to apply for the grant when she heard about it during a Diversity Steering Committee meeting. "In order to apply for the grant, we had to know what event we would hold and also plan a budget," Schmidt said. SASP received the $200 they budgeted for and will use the money for flyers and other advertising.

"We are sending postcards to the principals of schools in Vigo County as well as surrounding counties," Schmidt said. "We are also inviting special education co-ops, students and the community. We are putting it in the news and announcing it on the radio as well."

Schmidt and McQueen both agree that the discussion will be worth the audience's time.

"The comment I hear most from those who attend is, ‘I had no idea'," McQueen said. "For the most part, people just don't know anything about transgendered and intersexed individuals. As a result, these people are often misjudged or even feared. My presentation offers people the opportunity to think about things a bit differently."

The Office of Diversity Student Mini Grant, SASP and the Bayh College of Education are all helping to sponsor the free event.

Contact: Kand McQueen, Indiana State University, assistant professor of the Bayh College of Education, at kand.mcqueen@indstate.edu or 812-237-4497.

Writer: Britany Dean, ISU communications and marketing media assistant, at bdean7@indstate.edu or 812-237-3773.