Here’s a short list of the topics my students researched for papers this term:

  • Marlene Dietrich
  • Intersex activism
  • Justin Bieber’s gender
  • David Reimer, or the John/Joan case
  • The invention of heterosexuality
  • Korean pop band f(x)
  • Kyle Alums and gender in college sports
  • Genderqueer identities
  • Femininity in male-bodied people
  • African trans identities/activism
  • De-homosexualized femme identities
  • Tribe 8’s “Femme Bitch Top”
  • Pete Burns’ gender
  • Barsexuals
  • Feminism and femme activism
  • GIDC

It makes grading a lot easier, that’s for sure.

College Admissions

Two interesting articles about admissions and LGBT students have come across my desk recently:  One is about colleges seeking gay applicants, and the other is about asking students, on the Common Application, what their orientation is.

As much as I’d rather see LGBTQ students at a college that really does welcome them, I hate anything that seems like it might be ghettoizing students. For some, their orientation is barely important; what med school they want to get into is most important.

But at the same time, that anyone’s even asking the questions means there is starting to be more consistent recognition that gender and sexual orienation are important aspects of identity.

Now if we oculd just get them to make the question about gender a blank to fill in instead of a choice that dichotimizes our genders.



Congratulations to all of Lawrence University’s graduating seniors! Today is commencement, my second since I’ve been teaching here, but the first where I’ve known quite a few students, one of whom is graduating summa cum laude with an honors project on drag kings in Amsterdam. He was in the first Trans Lives course I taught here two years ago.

TransOhio in 2 Days

I’m leaving today for Columbus, OH, where I’m speaking at the TransOhio Conference, & yes, I am traveling by train. Tons of people from our MHB boards are joining me, including my lovely wife. (“She said ‘wife’!”)

They closed the online registration yesterday, but they WILL be registering walk-ins at the conference, so even if you haven’t registered yet, you can still come. They’ve made it very reasonable – $30, $20 for students, and that comes with lunch. Students can go for $11 but with no lunch & no me. Basically, it’s a tiered system, allowing people as much conference access as possible. There’s a meet & greet on Friday, 8/14, AND a brunch on Sunday. (The day-of registrations are more expensive, and may not come with a guarantee that there will be room for you at lunch.)

So yes, make your plans to come while I’m on a train to Pittsburgh!

No More Abstinence Only Funding

This morning, the House Appropriations Committee’s subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services and Education (Labor HHS) eliminated traditional sources of funding for abstinence-only programs by passing the appropriations bill for FY 2010.

The Labor HHS subcommittee and the Obama Administration has recognized what we already knew: abstinence-only sex education programs do not work. The evidence is irrefutable that spending for abstinence-only education is not only wasteful, but also the programs put young women’s health at risk. A 2004 study by the House Committee on Government Reform, conducted at the request of Rep. Henry Waxman (D-30-CA) found that over 80% of the curricula used in the largest federally funded abstinence-only programs contained “false, misleading, or distorted information about reproductive health.” >In addition to pulling the plug on funding for failed abstinence-only sex education programs, the bill eliminates a ban on syringe exchange programs, which have been proven to be a highly effective strategy for preventing HIV.

(via email from

New Study on Poverty & Education

Taylor said frequently textbooks in primary and secondary schools and in higher education do not address issues like poverty fully and often are reduced and oversimplified. “Far too many schools continue to endorse a curriculum of the absurd that encompasses ‘heroification’ of primarily white males, while the contributions of women and people of color appear in pop-out format in textbooks,” she said.

I wish I were even a little surprised by the results and her conclusions.

Drag Day

Today is the 1st annual Drag Day at Lawence University. Okay, it’s just the first, but I’m hoping it’s not the last. The students in my Trans Lives course expressed a desire to play with gender, and I thought it’d be safest on a day that’s already a little nuts: Mardi Gras.

So laissez les bon temps rouler & have a good Drag Day!