I found the “Gender Talk” at the LGBT Center to be very enlightening. One of the first things that seemed to catch my attention was that the presenters who discussed their transexuality shared a resentment for their past. Their life prior was a reflection of nothingness; similar to death, it suggested a vapid portrayal of who they currently are. One transsexual author remarked about such feelings on his 18th birthday; he describes how his life before feels like that of another individual. Another interesting point was the discussion of how certain cultures have certain ideas for gender norms, and how it becomes difficult to identify with slight deviations. One presenter discussed how he struggled growing up into a family with the mentality that a man is strong, macho, and just likes to have a good smoke. His discussion of how he still identifies as a man because of who he is and not by how it is defined by others was very thought provoking.
One of the presenters I most enjoyed was a girl who discussed how some days she identifies a “guy” other times she feels like a “girl.” I admired her confidence because she seemed to be very sure of herself. An interesting point she made was that she would be thrilled to have a detachable penis. She explained how it would be easier in terms of making the decision in terms of which sex she wanted to be for the day.
The atmosphere was a very open place, accepting of anything individuals desired to share. I liked the feel of the room very much. I feel that this environment made it easier for presenters, and everyone else, to feel comfortable in themselves and made it easier to share how they felt. However, I sensed a great amount of nervousness in presenters. Although expressions of self are difficult in any situation, I was curious as to why individuals were so nervous when everyone in that room was there to listen and not judge.