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Shanna K. Kattari, University of Michigan
Many people may experience anxiety when seeking medical treatment. They might worry about wait times, insurance coverage or how far they must travel to access care. Transgender and non-binary individuals have an added fear: gender-related discrimination. This can involve being outed due to a name or gender mismatch on an insurance card, being completely denied care or even being left to die. Most recently, the White House has begun to seriously weigh removing transgender and intersex individuals from definitions of gender completely.
Lara Schwartz, American University School of Public Affairs
On an October night in 1998, Matthew Shepard, a 21-year-old student at the University of Wyoming, was beaten, driven to a remote field, tied to a fence and left to die. The cyclist who found him reported that the unconscious young man’s face was covered with blood except where tears had washed the skin clean. People gathered for vigils nationwide. The press flocked to Laramie to cover the story. Matthew died six days later, on Oct.
Alun Withey, University of Exeter
Beard styles often reveal a moment in time. In 2015 the hipster beard is, despite repeated and insistent claims that the trend is over, still popular. This current trend has already outlasted many of its pogonophilic predecessors over the past 20 years or so. But perhaps the fact that an exhibition at Somerset House in London has just opened featuring 80 portraits by Brock Elbank of hirsute men indicates that the hipster beard will soon, finally, be ditched. Looking back through history, beard styles often follow particular eras.
Timothy R. Bussey, Kenyon College
Recently, there have been a number of historic firsts for transgender political candidates. In 2017, State Rep. Danica Roem of Virginia became the first openly transgender person to be elected to a state legislature, and just last month, gubernatorial candidate, Christine Hallquist of Vermont, became the first transgender person to win a major party nomination. While these accomplishments are a significant sign of change in American politics, transgender people still face challenges in the political arena. One of these challenges is access to ID cards, like a driver’s license or passport, with a correctly updated gender marker (i.e. “M,” “F,” and in some states, “X”), instead of the gender marker that was assigned at birth. A 2018 report from the Williams Institute of the UCLA School of Law examines the impact of strict voter ID laws in the upcoming midterm elections.
For two decades, I have taught U.S. women’s and gender history at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, a blue town in a blue state, marooned in an ocean of red. Bordered by Appalachia, the Mississippi Delta and the Ozarks, Southern Illinois is surrounded by the country’s poorest rural regions. Some of my students arrive from white farming communities and are the first in their families to attend college. They grow up on church, military, patriotism and traditional family, and they come from a world different from mine. I grew up in 1970s San Francisco, and my parents were leftists.