So today, I sat in on a lecture of my Amy's. (MY AMY ;)) This lecture was taught by Dr. Susan Stryker, my Gender Studies professor, whom I have great respect for, in the sense that she is very knowledgeable and highly intelligent. She seems to be a very easy-going person whilst making an impact in our LGBT community. If I got to know her, on a personal level, I might actually make her a personal hero of mine, but I haven't gotten to that level yet.
So back to sitting in lecture.
I was there to kill some time, also to learn about "Gender Identity and the Body". Well, I noticed a dramatic difference when she's in this 100-level class lecture, and also in my 200-level class discussion and lecture. She feels pretty comfortable to talk about many things in either classes, but there is far less discussion from the audience in this 100-level lecture. Though I understand the impersonality of a grand lecture hall, it seems these students aren't as willing to participate as well.
As I was exiting the classroom, I was walking in front of some girl. She was seemingly annoyed by the Professor, as she was making ignorant comments such as "Oh, she's a transgender and she has a partner..." I was quite offended by her statement, and just announced, "Well, why don't you just drop the class then, if you're not feeling comfortable in it." It wasn't directed at anyone, necessarily, but it was quite obvious why I said that. So she began to recover by saying, "Well, I guess if she used to be a man, then it works for her."
Pssht. Noob freshmen. Or maybe just hos in general. As a sophomore, I came back to much familiarity, but also more ignorance. In my Chemistry lecture, this girl was making annoyance comments regarding the material she was being taught. There were 200 people in that lecture hall who were there to learn. Honestly, of the 200, not many people are gonna eat that stuff up like candy, including myself. But we're all there for a reason, to fulfill our requirement, or to advance our understanding of the microscopic world. If you dont' like what is being presented to you, there is no knife at your neck. Please exit, there are people who are trying to get into this class. Thank you.
Back to Professor Stryker.
I think it's very impressive of her that she's out and comfortable with her sexuality like she is. There are many straight people out there who aren't as comfortable with themselves. Being gay or transgendered is ostracized by our narrow society, but instead of hiding the shadows of this marginalizing world, she's here to make a difference. She's here and she's queer.
I, Lisa Yang, personally don't quite think my orientation matters as much to my life as my person as a whole. I don't care about making everyone I encounter aware of my status as a lesbian, but rather, I care to let them know that I'm a passionate person who will get the job done right.
I'm not sure about Professor Stryker's starting point regarding her "outness", but she's only hoping to better this world.
So here, my kudos to you, Professor Stryker.