Education

Cuesta College gender identity lecture for faculty, staff

Sexual Identities:From Center to Margins

Cuesta College gender identity...

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. - The lecture at Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo for faculty and staff was entitled "Sexual Identities:From Center to Margins".

It was an opportunity for instructors and campus staff to get back in the classroom and further their own education on a complex issue.

"They may say I'm a little bit of both and I like it that way", said Cuesta College Human Development instructor Bailey Drechsler to about a dozen people Monday afternoon gathered in a classroom on campus.

"Just like when you saw me for the first time in this room, you registered female and you assigned me with the social constructions of expectations, rules and roles that you think I should have because of my body", Drechsler said.

The lecture focused on "distinct components of sexual identity along with limitations of the western narrative which frame it."

"Pan-sexual people fall in love with the person regardless of their body so they may be third gender or in some way transgendered", Drechsler said, "they just fall in love with the person, and that makes them pan-sexual because they have a capacity to love outside of this construction of who's sexy, what romance looks like and with whose body."

The goal was to enlighten Cuesta College instructors and staff on the complexities of gender and sexual identity and how it applies to their relationships with students.

"I knew a little bit about gender roles and gender fluidity, I have students that identify as transgender", said Cuesta College instructor Galadriel Highhouse after the lecture, "the idea about a-sexuality, and pan-sexualism and androgyny, I was not informed about how those terms apply or how they are recognized throughout society."

"I feel like its my job as a professor, as an educator, to increase my knowledge about something that I thought I knew about but I actually discovered with this talk that its a lot more complicated then I thought it was", Highhouse said, "to understand how somebody identifies themselves is really important, its not necessarily identifying yourself as male or female for some of these students, so I think it will make me more sensitive to the issues they're confronted with and some of the struggles they might go through."

It was mentioned during the lecture that as many as 10 to 15 percent of the student population relates to issues dealing with gender and sexual identity.


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