On Wednesday, October 2, 2019, CSW was pleased to welcome author and transgender advocate Alex Myers to campus. Alex came out as transgender in 1995, right before his senior year in high school. Since then, Alex has worked with schools and colleges to educate students, faculty, and administrators about gender identity. He has assisted dozens of schools as they redesign facilities, practices, and policies to be more gender inclusive.
Alex began his visit by meeting with the full faculty and staff to review terminology, break down the basics of gender identity and expression, and educate the adult community on how the school can develop its rules policies, guidelines, and facilities to further improve the daily experience of all students. When it comes to gender equality, Alex explained that many schools’ struggles can be tied to issues related to the following policies, structures, and program areas: dresscode, athletics, facilities, dormitories, off-campus travel, and documentation. Throughout his presentation, Alex also addressed specific questions from the faculty and staff and shared tips and advice he’s picked up from his years of experience working with schools.
Later, Alex led a presentation for the entire community, in which he shared his personal journey growing up as transgender in a small town in Maine. He talked about what it was like coming out to his family, friends, classmates, and teachers, and the impact of the various cultural trends as they related to gender and gender expression at the time. Alex also provided examples of transgender historical figures, making the point that the concept of transgender identity is not a new concept. At the end of the presentation, students were able to ask questions and solicit advice on coming out to parents, seeking out transgender role models, building awareness of cultural constructs and trends, and understanding the ever-changing landscape and resulting terminologies of gender identity.
Alex has generously offered to gift copies of his forthcoming novel, Continental Divide, to the community, and intends to come back later this spring to continue the conversation with students, faculty, and staff.
Learn more about Alex and his work at https://alexmyerswriting.com/.