A New Jersey community college will host a lecture series later this month exploring gender, sexuality and biological sex.
“Sex, Gender and Sexuality: Navigating a Shifting Landscape” will consist of six free events at Camden County College’s Blackwood campus beginning Sept. 18.
Ellen Hernandez began serving as the associate director of the college’s Center for Civic Leadership and Responsibility (CCLR), which is hosting this series, in January. Hernandez said she recently read the “Gender Revolution” issue of National Geographic and watched a documentary on transgender children.
“I decided my first project as associate director of the center should be to create a lecture series to make sure everyone is informed about sex, gender, gender identity, expression and sexuality,” she said.
Hernandez said she took the lead from CCLR Director John L. Pesda and used the information she gathered from articles and online research to find experts on areas related to LGBT issues. Presenters will include artists, educators, faith leaders and therapists. Dr. Jacqui Bowman and Quincy Greene of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia will present “The Science behind Biological Sex” Sept. 28, in which they will explain biological processes and complexities for sex assignment and sex determination. Additionally, Danna Bodenheimer of Walnut Psychotherapy Center and local nephrologist Dr. Thomas Delgiorno will participate in “Talking about Gender Change,” an Oct. 12 panel.
Hernandez said registered participants can receive professional-development credits if interested. However, she said the course will also help people become more informed citizens, and CCLR will encourage audience participation.
“You’re getting information that you may not have, which I think is vitally important at this time,” Hernandez said. “It gives us a chance to ask the questions that need to be asked so that people have accurate information; there is so much information out there through social media that is inaccurate, that is misguided, that is frankly discriminatory in its nature. We have to make sure people really know the facts.”
Hernandez said “people are dying over ignorance,” noting the 22 trans people killed in 2016 and 17 in 2017.
“The current president and his administration have proposed policies that exclude and discriminate against LGBTQ people and are going to set back the progress that’s been made,” Hernandez said. “I think we owe it to ourselves to become armed with information and to support and protect one another.”