South Campus LGBT History Month Offers Transgender Lecture


Pete Marovich/MCT

San Jac events are aimed at spotlighting the struggles of the LGBT community like those of the demonstrators gathered in front of the U.S. Supreme Court June 25, 2013, in Washington, DC. to support gay rights issues.

October is commonly known for pumpkins, cool weather and Halloween. October is also known for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) History Month.

San Jacinto College South Campus will present a lecture Oct. 13 by English professor Dr. Joy Thompson-Grim and her sister Melissa Thompson; a transgendered woman.

The lecture will focus on Melissa’s transition from man to woman, her family’s response, and other issues surrounding sexual transitioning.

According to the Gay Almanac, authored by the National Museum and Archive of Lesbian and Gay History, “An estimated 1% of the human population is confirmed as transsexuals.”

South campus biology professor, and Gay Straight Alliance advisor Mary E. Wisgirda said, “We hope that is will be a very interactive experience, with lots of questions from the audience, making this a genuinely educational experience for everyone who attends.”

During October, all three San Jac campuses host events celebrating the LGBT community. LGBT history month is celebrated in October to commemorate the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights which took place on Oct. 11, 1987.

“Schools are for education, not ignorance and certainly not hatred,” Wisgirda said.

The San Jacinto College Student Handbook states, “It is the policy of San Jacinto College to provide an educational, employment, and business environment free of discrimination based on race, creed, color, national origin, citizenship status, age, disability, pregnancy, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, genetic information, marital status, or veteran status.”

According to Wisgirda, the College celebrates the LGBT community to show San Jac is a safe place for all people.

“I am so proud to now work at a college that is inclusive and respectful of all individuals,” Wisgirda said. “Every student should be focused on success. The rest of us are here to help make that happen.”

Meanwhile, Wisgirda said equal treatment is very important to her because of a personal connection.

“My sister, who has been my best friend for my entire life, is a lesbian. I watched her struggle with self-hatred for years as she tried to deny a fundamental part of herself,” Wisgirda said. “When she suffers, I suffer too. I don’t want anyone to have to go through what she has gone through.”

The lecture begins 10 a.m. in the Kaleidoscope Room (101) of the South campus Interactive Learning Center (S12).