Announcing Trans*forming the Dialogue!

SocialWork@Simmons is proud to announce the launch of: Trans*forming the Dialogue! In honor of LGBT Pride Month and in an effort to continue to celebrate Simmons’ commitment to fostering inclusivity and social advocacy, we are excited to promote this powerful message. We invite you to participate in our campaign and ensure that your voice is heard!

What is it?

Trans*forming the Dialogue is a blog carnival and social campaign aimed at raising the voices of those within the transgender community. We are asking bloggers and social advocates alike to offer their perspective on how we can foster a more progressive and productive dialogue about trans*lives.

Why are we doing it?

Last year, trans* advocate Janet Mock left her first mainstream televised interview with Piers Morgan frustrated by the questions he asked that focused on “sensationalizing” her life instead of on her initiatives. The same thing happened on Katie Couric’s show when Orange is the New Black star Laverne Cox responded to Couric’s invasive questions saying, “The preoccupation with transition and surgery objectifies trans people.” Instead, she said the focus should be on their “lived experiences.” While these interviewers had the best intentions, their questions were offensive, intrusive, and ultimately irrelevant to the issues at large: trans* rights and gender equality.

“[This is] representative of the ignorance that there is about trans* people’s lives. We’re out of the safe bubble of social justice,” said Mock. The reality is that the society we live in is still in the dark about what it means to be transgendered. If some of our most reputable, educated journalists are unaware of how to appropriately address trans* issues, it’s presumable that the general population as a whole needs to be better informed. Ultimately, we’d like to combat the microaggression often committed by those with the best intentions.

Social workers work in large part to advocate for the marginalized and combat micro-aggression. We hope that this campaign will promote cultural awareness, respectful discourse, and greater understanding.

How can you participate?

By Trans*forming the Dialogue, we can effectively shift the conversation to a more positive, enlightening dialogue about trans*issues. To do this, we are asking the Transgender and the LGBT/Ally community:

  • What are 2 – 3 questions (or as many as you like) that one should NOT be asking a transgender person?
  • What are 2 – 3 questions (or as many as you like) that one SHOULD be asking a transgender person?

These responses will become the heart and soul of our campaign. We want to encourage constructive discussions lead by those deeply involved in the trans*community.

Interested in being a featured voice? Answer our prompt on your blog, send it to cingrao@socialwork.simmons.edu or mdottermusch@socialwork.simmons.edu. We will be rounding up all of our participating voices in our “First Voices” post going live in the first week of June.

Trans*forming the Dialogue will feature:

A Blog Carnival: Bloggers, you can be a featured voice in our campaign! We invite you to share your perspective on our prompt (above) in the form of a blogpost. We will be publishing roundups featuring your insights throughout June.

Distinguished Guest Posts: Be sure to check out SocialWork@Simmons blog in June to read personal testimonials from Simmons faculty and high profile trans*advocates on their experiences and initiatives within the trans*community.

Social Media: Use your favorite social media channel to connect with campaign participants and influencers! In order to Trans*form the dialogue there needs to be a dialogue. Be sure to share responses to our prompt and campaign content to further spread awareness and follow with hashtag: #TransDialogue

#TransDialogue Tweet Chat:
Date: Tuesday, June 23rd
Time: 8 pm Eastern Time

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!

Pride Event Coverage: Tune in all month for updates on Pride events, parades, and festivals. Our United States of Pride graphic will publish on our blog in June as an all-in-one resource outlining where major pride festivals are occurring around the country!