With immense social change occurring with regard to LGBT issues, youth are grappling with sexual and gender identities at younger and younger ages. What opportunities and challenges do such developments create? How are social institutions (education, religion, media, etc.) reacting to these developments? How can we as members of an academic community contribute to the well-being of queer youth?
The 2015 symposium featured addresses by Cris Mayo, Professor of Education Policy, Organization, and Leadership at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Aidan Key, gender specialist, founder and director of the Seattle-based organization Gender Diversity. All events were open to the public.
Date: Saturday, March 21, 2015
Location: Andrews Hall 101
9:45 Address by Cris Mayo "Desiring Association: Gender, Race, and Sexuality Politics among LGBTQA Youth"
11:15 Address by Aidan Key "Transgender Children in Society: The Difference a Day Makes"
2:00 Panel Discussion
During breaks in the symposium, attendees viewed a series of photographs and film clips. Alongside the symposium was a one-credit course taught by Professor Linneman, beginning in late February. Students studied Cris Mayo's recent book and Aidan Key's writing, as well as other readings about queer youth. They also participated in a small original research project that was presented in poster form at the symposium.
About the Boswell Initiative
From the unique issues faced in retirement to the creation of new family formations, the Boswell Initiative aims to promote innovative, interdisciplinary scholarship on the cultural, economic, political, and policy dimensions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender life in the United States and in other countries. This initiative complements and enlarges the existing John Boswell Memorial Lecture, delivered annually during the College's Homecoming weekend.
In 2014-15, the Boswell Initiative was guided by a faculty and graduate student advisory committee:
- Wouter Deconinck, Physics
- Chelsey Johnson, English
- Kathrin Levitan, History
- Tom Linneman, Sociology
- Jennifer Putzi, English and Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies
- Helis Sikk, American Studies
Funding for the 2015 Boswell Initiative was provided by the A&S Dean's Office, members and supporters of W&M GALA, and other private donors.