Out to Lunch Lecture Series

Dates and speakers for fall 2018 will be released soon.

The Out to Lunch Gender, Sexuality and Community Lecture Series (OTL Lecture Series) is a weekly academic lecture and discussion series with guest scholars and community activists from various disciplines examining a variety of topics related to gender identity, gender expression and sexuality. Each semester offers a broad sampling of the existing research and current activism on topics that may include public health, religion, spirituality, business, military, science, K-12 education, families, immigration, literature, politics, law, community organizing, history, violence, race & ethnicity, age, counseling, therapy, sports, romance, policy and many other areas.

Out to Lunch is a interdisciplinary lecture series that focuses on queer studies. All lectures are scheduled for Wednesdays at noon at the Rainbow Center, Student Union 403, unless otherwise posted. Undergraduate students have an option to take the lecture series as a credit-bearing class UNIV 2500, “Gender, Sexuality and Community: Queer Studies in an Interdisciplinary Approach.” One does not have to be enrolled in the class in order to attend any or all of the lectures.

Spring 2018 roster

January 24: Amanda Denes; “Communication from Parents and Friends: Exploring Experiences Coming Out to Parents and Social Support for LGBQ Victims of Hate Speech”

Synopsis:  This presentation will discuss two research studies focused on communication processes among LGBQ individuals and their parents and friends. First, research on individuals’ experiences coming out to their parents and the effect on future parent-child communication will be discussed. Specifically, the study explored whether some individuals feel the need to come out to their parents a second time, reasons for coming out again, and strategies used to do so. Second, a current study exploring the influence of supportive messages on health recovery for LGBQ victims of hate speech is discussed. This study aims to understand the types of supportive communication from family and friends that are most beneficial to LGBQ victims of hate speech, and the results will inform interventions that aim to build resiliency and foster social change.

Biography: Amanda Denes is an Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Communication at the University of Connecticut. Her research focuses on communication in various types of interpersonal relationships such as romantic relationships, parent-child relationships, and friendships. Much of her work looks at the association between communication in interpersonal relationships and people’s physiological, psychological, and relational health. In particular, she is interested in why individuals disclose information about themselves to others, how they disclose that information, and the effects of such disclosures on individuals and their relationships. Her research looking at the relationship between communication, hormones, and sexuality has been funded by such organizations as the Foundation for the Scientific Study of Sexuality and The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction.

January 31: Erin Waggoner; “#LGBTQFans Deserve Better: Pros and Cons of LGBTQ+ Television Representation”

Synopsis: While much better than even ten years ago, there are still problems that exist with the current LGBTQ+ representation on television. Social media and streaming technologies have changed previous story restrictions, fan reactions, and storytelling initiatives, but is this enough? During this lecture, we will discuss the history, community reactions, tropes, stereotypes, and representation of LGBTQ+ characters on scripted and non-scripted television. We will also discuss the recent successful social media campaign, #LGBTQFansDeserveBetter, which helped raise money for the Trevor Project and jumpstarted a national conversation about harmful television tropes for LGBTQ+ characters and those who watch.

Biography: While much better than even ten years ago, there are still problems that exist with the current LGBTQ+ representation on television. Social media and streaming technologies have changed previous story restrictions, fan reactions, and storytelling initiatives, but is this enough? During this lecture, we will discuss the history, community reactions, tropes, stereotypes, and representation of LGBTQ+ characters on scripted and non-scripted television. We will also discuss the recent successful social media campaign, #LGBTQFansDeserveBetter, which helped raise over $170 for the Trevor Project and jumpstarted a national conversation about harmful television tropes for LGBTQ+ characters and those who watch.

February 7: Micah Neumann; “Growing Up Trans: from the perspective of a parent of a transgender child”

Synopsis: TBD

Biography: Micah Heumann, Master of Arts in Psychology, as previously served as president of Homestead Corporation, a non-profit creating affordable housing for low-income families and individuals, and Uniting Pride Center, a non-profit multi-service agency of the LGBTQ community of Champaign County, Illinois.  He has collaborated in research identifying and bringing attention to microaggressions committed against domestic students of color in the Academic Advising environment and currently serves as an Academic Advisor in the Academic Center for Exploratory Students at UConn.

February 14: Chris Rodriguez; “Transgender Health: A Look at Gender Sensitive Healthcare”

Synopsis: In an ever-evolving society, it is imperative that clinicians adapt to the needs of our population. In 2011, 0.3% of the population identified themselves as transgender and in 2014, that statistic doubled, whereby 0.6% of the population now identify as transgender (Flores et al., 2016). Despite such a statistic, there continues to be significant barriers concerning access of health care services due to the lack of knowledge that complicates the clinical management and treatment of trans patients, the informed consent vs. the gatekeeper model, as well as access to care when referring trans patients. The purpose of this presentation is to discuss the importance of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and its effects on the transitioning individual, an in-depth look at gender-affirming surgeries with estimated costs, as well as the provision of gender-sensitive care across healthcare settings.

Biography: Chris Rodriguez is a Family Nurse Practitioner who currently works for Student Health Services at the University of Connecticut and is an adjunct faculty for the University of Connecticut’s School of Nursing. Chris completed a Master of Science in Nursing at the University of Connecticut, whereby their specialty track was as a Family Nurse Practitioner. A former healthcare chaplain, Chris also completed a Master of Arts in Theological Studies, as well as a Master of Divinity from Liberty University. They are currently enrolled in the University of Connecticut’s Doctor of Nursing Practice program, where their research focuses on developing and implementing an evidence-based educational program that will assist clinicians and their medical staff in meeting the healthcare needs of transgender patients in primary care settings. Chris has lectured on the importance of implementing trans healthcare in medical curriculums and uses the informed consent model for the initiation and maintenance of hormone replacement therapy in healthcare settings. Chris is interested in all aspects of primary care, with a strong focus on transgender health.

February 21: Laurel Davis-Delano & Elizabeth Morgan; “Public Displays of Heterosexual Identity: What They Reveal About Heteronormativity, Heterosexism, Bisexuality, and Gender”

Synopsis: In this lecture, we explore the phenomenon of heterosexual marking, which we define as behaviors believed to indicate heterosexuality. Drawing on findings from several research projects we recently conducted, we will first describe three main types of heterosexual marking behaviors. Then, we discuss four topics related to heterosexual marking: how heteronormative and heterosexist social context impacts this marking, ways this marking obscures bisexuality, the relationship between gender and marking behaviors, and how marking occurs following suspicion of being a sexual minority. We conclude by discussing some implications of our findings.

Biography: Laurel R. Davis-Delano is a Professor of Sociology at Springfield College (in MA). Laurel’s research is focused on inequality based on race, gender, and sexual orientation. Four topics covered in Laurel’s publications are Native American nicknames/logos in sport, development of women’s same-sex relationships, public displays of heterosexual identity, and the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue.

Elizabeth M. Morgan is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Springfield College in Massachusetts. She received her PhD in Developmental Psychology from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her research is on adolescent and emerging adult sexual and romantic relationship development, with a primary focus on sexual identity formation, especially heterosexual and bisexual identity development.

February 28:  Tom Long; “Queer Resistance, or, No One in America Gets What They Deserve Just Because the Deserve It”

Synopsis: This presentation engages both national history and personal history. It will begin with a historical survey of resistance to civil government and social injustice in North America, from the Colonial era to the present, with special attention to race and gender. Then it will focus on queer resistance in the late 20th century and early 21st century, including personal experiences of Dr. Tom Long, who first engaged in queer community organizing and activism in 1976 while in graduate school.

Biography: Dr. Thomas Lawrence Long is associate professor in residence in the UConn School of Nursing and serves on the core faculty of the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program. A former Roman Catholic priest, he earned a master’s degree in theology from the Catholic University of America in 1981. A professor of English language and American studies, he is the author of AIDS and American Apocalypticism: The Cultural Semiotics of an Epidemic. He has contributed book chapters to The Male Body in Medicine and Literature (Liverpool University Press, forthcoming), Women’s Narratives of the Early Americas and the Formation of Empire (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016), Routledge Handbook on the Global History of Nursing (Routledge, 2013), On the Meaning of Friendship between Gay Men (Routledge, 2008), Catholic Figures, Queer Narratives (Palgrave Macmillan, 2006), and Gender and Apocalyptic Desire (Equinox, 2005).

March 7:  Ryan Watson; “TBD”

Synopsis: TBD

Biography: Dr. Ryan J. Watson is an Assistant Professor in the department of Human Development and Family Studies at the University of Connecticut. He explores protective factors for vulnerable adolescents, with a focus on interpersonal relationships. Dr. Watson situates himself as a mixed-methods interdisciplinary family scientist and draws from life course and developmental frameworks. At InCHIP, Dr. Watson aims to further advance the scholarship of health and well-being, interpersonal relationships, and sexual minority youth through mixed-method approaches. Dr. Watson has used both population-based and non-probability datasets from the US, Norway, and Canada to examine how social support (friends, teachers, and parents) may attenuate the impact of risk factors such as victimization, homophobia, and stigma on well-being. He continues to research how social support provides a foundation for achievement and healthy outcomes for vulnerable youth. In addition, Dr. Watson has led a qualitative study that explores the motivations and outcomes for hooking up among sexual minority populations. His work explores the ways in which the use of different platforms to initiate and engage in hook ups differs by sexual orientation subgroups.

March 14:  No lecture due to Spring Break


March 21:  Lisa Eaton; “TBD”

Synopsis: TBD

Biography: TBD

March 28: Kaustav Bakshi; “TBD”

Synopsis: TBD

Biography: TBD

April 4: Jen Manion; “TBD”

Synopsis: TBD

Biography: TBD

April 11: Jama Shelton; “LBGT Youth Homelessness: Structural Barriers & Innovative Responses”

Synopsis: LGBTQ youth and youth of color are overrepresented in the population of youth experiencing homelessness. Service providers report that the LGBTQ youth they work with are more likely to experience physical and mental health issues, and are more likely to be homeless for longer periods of time than cisgender and heterosexual youth. The disparities are greater for transgender youth. What are the reasons for this disproportionality and what can be done to address it? Based on 9 years of direct practice experience with LGBTQ youth experiencing homelessness, 4 year of national organizing work to address LGBTQ youth homelessness, and current research projects conducted with transgender youth experiencing homelessness, Dr. Shelton will discuss the state of LGBTQ youth homelessness in America.

Biography: Jama Shelton, MSW, PhD is an Assistant Professor at the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College. Dr. Shelton’s research examines the needs and experiences of LGBTQ youth experiencing homelessness and the service providers with whom they work. In particular, Dr. Shelton is interested in identifying and addressing systemic barriers rooted in hetero/cisgenderism that frequently constrain the successful transition out of homelessness for LGBTQ youth and young adults. Previously, Dr. Shelton served as the Deputy Executive Director of the True Colors Fund. In this role, Dr. Shelton was engaged in systemic change efforts directly informed by years of direct practice experience. Having worked in the areas of clinical practice with LGBTQ youth experiencing homelessness, as well as program development, evaluation, research, technical assistance and training, Dr. Shelton brings a comprehensive understanding of the issues facing both LGBTQ youth experiencing homelessness and also the service providers with whom they work. Most recently, Dr. Shelton co-edited the peer-reviewed text Where Am I Going to Go? Intersectional Approaches to Ending LGBTQ2S Youth Homelessness in Canada and the US, published by the Canadian Homelessness Research Network Press.

April 18: Michael Bartone; “TBD”

Synopsis: TBD

Biography: TBD

April 25: M. V. Lee Badgett; “TBD”

Synopsis: TBD

Biography: TBD