The Speakers Bureau exists to educate the campus about the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, and Ally experiences through panel discussions and presentations in classes, residence halls, and other university settings. Members of the Towson LGBTQIA community have received training for this purpose enter into these discussions prepared to give accurate information, to answer questions that students, staff and faculty may have about the realities of LGBT lives, and to introduce the heterosexual, gender normative majority to visible members and allies of this mostly invisible minority. Through the Speaker’s Bureau we hope to create an atmosphere of respect and acceptance for all individuals within the Towson Community.
The new speaker’s bureau program will be offered in menu style format. Individuals will be able to select from the following items.
1. Coming out stories & Q/A
This is a panel program consisting of 3-4 LGBTQIA identified students that share their coming out story and then answer questions about their personal experiences as a member of the LGBTQIA community.
2. Deconstructing LGBT Identity & Community
This is an educational presentation consisting of 1-2speakers that discusses LGBTQIA terminology and deconstructs homophobia/heterosexism and transphobia/cisgenderism.
3. Introduction to Gender Deconstruction and the Transgender Community
This is an educational presentation that introduces gender variant concepts, deconstructs the gender binary, and provides a basic introduction to transgender identities and communities.
4. Presentations by Request
Presentations on special topics are prepared upon request by members of the Speakers Bureau and the Associate Director of LGBTQ+ Student Development: gay marriage, hate crimes, same sex dating violence, etc.
The Speakers Bureau is comprised of individuals of all ages, backgrounds and orientations who are interested in breaking down the barriers of homophobia and heterosexism through education and personal conversation. Speakers choose to join the LGBT Speakers Bureau for a variety of reasons: social connections, to find community, a drive to educate other on LGBT issues, for the chance to work with a variety of on and off-campus groups, or for the empowering experience of speaking about their own experiences.
Once an individual decides to join the Speaker’s Bureau they must attend a Speaker’s Orientation Session. These Sessions are offered several times throughout each semester. After attending a session, speakers are put into a Speaker’s database and called upon for speaking engagements.