Surgeon Marci Bowers spoke Wednesday night in the Lory Student Center Theatre, continuing a weeklong series of events for Transgendered, Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian Awareness Days (T’BGLAD.)
“This is a great and an enlightening experience for the campus,” said Nikki Adams, a sophomore political science major.
After an introduction by T’BGLAD events chair Peter Dearth, Bowers joked how listing all her credentials made her sound so boring. Bowers works as a gender reassignment surgeon in Trinidad, Colo. and is transgendered herself.
Rather than a science talk about gender reassignment, Bowers instead chose to speak about inclusiveness and willingness to understand the transgender population.
“Transgender individuals can help open up a lot of understanding,” Bowers said.
She defined an individual’s need to change his or her sex with the words gender dysphoria, which means “a sense of inappropriateness with one’s current gender role.” Following an explanation of transitioning genders, Bowers explained how gender works more as a continuum with women and men at each end, with either able to fall anywhere between.
“I think we are more complex than to say we are just one of two genders,” she said
As opposed to the term gender reassignment, Bowers said the more appropriate term is genital reassignment, because an individual has surgery to change their genitalia and how the appear. This can also include breast enhancements and tracheal shaving, or making the Adam’s Apple smaller.
“I’m happy T’BGLAD chose a speaker who was transgender, because the “T” in GLBT is often overlooked. This helps bring clarity and understanding to issues people might not want to ask,” said Valerie Wolfe, a senior biology major.
Patrick Geiger, a sophomore information systems major also thought the choice of speaker was appropriate.
“This will help open people’s minds and show how forward the GLBT community is,” he said.
T’BGLAD events continue with The Laramie Project in the LSC Theatre at 7 pm, and the LSC Commons will host the Drag Show on Saturday at 7 pm.
Natasha Grunden can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org