Thatcher Combs is a doctoral student in Sociology at the University of Texas at Austin. His research interests focus on the nexus between gender, sexuality, desire, and social movements. More specifically, Thatcher is interested in the dynamics within the mainstream U.S. LGBT movement, the issue of marginalization within social movements, and the ways in which marginalized people navigate their desires. He is currently working on his Master's thesis which examines the ways in which gay/queer-identified cisgender men perceive gay/queer-identified trans men within social spaces and as possible sexual partners. Thatcher is also currently under contract as a co-author with Ardel Haefele-Thomas, Ph.D. on a textbook, Introduction to Transgender Studies, with Harrington Park Press. He has also taught classes in LGBT Studies at the City College of San Francisco as well as Introduction to Society at the University of Texas at Austin.
Tools For Teaching Trans* Studies
For those of us who teach queer studies, LGBTQI Studies, gender and sexuality studies, ethnic studies, and/or cultural studies how often have we found that students grapple with confusing notions about intersecting identities, gender identity and expression, and sexual orientation? Participants in this workshop will have a unique opportunity to not only "test drive" but to help revise the first chapters of a new textbook Introduction to Transgender Studies (forthcoming from Harrington Park Press/Columbia University Press in 2017). This multifaceted workshop will not only ask participants to utilize discussion questions and activities being developed in the book, but to also have fun with embracing a more Freirian model where we all consider ourselves both educators and students. Ardel and Thatcher look forward to taking everyone's ideas and critiques "back to the drawing board" to make this unique textbook as user friendly for students and teachers as possible.
After this workshop, participants will be able to:
1) Find creative and engaging ways (other than merely going over definitions) to help undergraduates understand the differences and similarities between gender identity and expression and sexual orientation - while keeping an understanding that they, along with race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, ability, etc do inform one another.
2) Look to Trans* issues in a global and historic context to illuminate the ways that gender "variance" and non-binary gender identities have always been with us in numerous cultures.
3) Help students explore the current tensions between LGB and T politics, communities, and human rights in the United States as well as other parts of the world.
4) Help the authors shape an introductory book that will actually be useful for all of us teaching in the field - whether it is in the classroom or in our support centers.