Happy New Year, Blazers! The past year has been quite eventful, to say the least. Last semester, we honed in on the manifestations of racism in America, ranging from mass incarceration in Alabama to the lives of the formerly incarcerated after prison. A key takeaway from our Fall 2020 events is that our policies are informed by a long, gruesome history of white supremacy and systemic racism. Additionally, our policies are often informed by several other prejudices, such as ableism, sexism, xenophobia, classism, and the like.
This semester, we will be exploring the manifestations of another pervasive prejudice which can be summarized as queerphobia. Individuals in the LGBTQ+ community face health disparities that often result in significantly poorer health outcomes relative to their straight and/or cisgendered counterparts. This is especially the case for transgender people, who are often denied medical treatment options and violently targeted by people both within and outside the LGBTQ+ community. Further, this experience is exacerbated for transgender people of color.
In light of this, with our Spring 2021 Semester Spotlight we will explore LGBTQ+ health issues through a policy lens while exploring ways to remedy institutional homophobia/queerphobia with policy change. We’re beginning the semester on January 25th with Dr. Vin Tangpricha, who will share his experiences in working with transgender medical care and shed light on the obstacles that he and his patients have faced. On February 17th, we will then shift our focus outside of the country to explore queerness in Palestine with Dr. Sa’ed Atshan, a distinguished professor of Peace and Conflict Studies who specializes in global LGBTQ social movements. Subsequently, we will shift the focus back to UAB on March 10th to highlight some of the ongoing LGBTQ+ research that UAB faculty are engaged with. To finish the semester, Dr. Billy Caceres of Columbia University will share information from his team’s project to map LGBTQ+ policy in The United States on April 7, providing an overview on the current state of LGBTQ+ policy across the country. All of these events are virtual and are open to the public.
For more information about these events and the other events we’re planning for the spring, make sure to follow us on social media or sign up for our newsletter. We look forward to engaging with you all this semester!