BHSU Geek Speak will lead discussion during LGBT History Month

Author: BHSU Communications/Thursday, September 29, 2016/Categories: 2016

Dr. William Cockrell, instructor of behavioral sciences at BHSU, is one of several panelists hoping to foster a multi-perspective discussion covering aspects of federal law and LGBTQ+ issues in the upcoming Geek Speak lecture "LGBTQ+: Fleshing Out the Acronym." The discussion will take place Thursday, Oct. 6 at 4 p.m. in Jonas Hall, room 110 at BHSU. The event is free and open to the public.

Dr. Lesleigh Owen, instructor of sociology at BHSU, is one of several panelists hoping to foster a multi-perspective discussion covering aspects of federal law and LGBTQ+ issues in the upcoming Geek Speak lecture "LGBTQ+: Fleshing Out the Acronym." The discussion will take place Thursday, Oct. 6 at 4 p.m. in Jonas Hall, room 110 at BHSU. The event is free and open to the public.

In recognition of LGBT History Month, Black Hills State University hosts an open discussion covering multiple aspects of federal law and LGBTQ+ issues in the next Geek Speak lecture.

Panelists hope to foster a multi-perspective discussion providing an overview of sexual orientation in the U.S. throughout history, defining the LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning/queer, and other gender identity and sexual orientation) acronym and addressing the current concerns that revolve around the topic. The discussion will take place Thursday, Oct. 6 at 4 p.m. in Jonas Hall, room 110 on the BHSU campus. The event is free and open to the public.

Dr. William Cockrell, instructor of behavioral sciences at BHSU Dr. Lesleigh Owen, instructor of Sociology at BHSU and Terri Bruce, community member, will lead the panel discussion, "LGBTQ+: Fleshing Out the Acronym."

The topics discussed in the panel will range from demography, definitions and terminology pertaining to transgender persons, to body dysmorphic disorder/body acceptance in the LGBTQ+ community, health and HIV, parenting, intersectionality, and hate crimes.

"We're constantly bombarded with the acronym LGBTQ+ and people are questioning what it means. Our major goals is to educate people about LGBTQ+ and encourage empathy," says Cockrell.

Cockrell believes it is important to address this topic considering the current social conflicts in the U.S.

"We approach these things by taking race, sexual orientation or gender, and acknowledging that we have the same cognitive process, regardless of what social group we belong to," says Cockrell.

Same-sex marriage became legal in South Dakota and all states last year following a landmark Supreme Court ruling.

"Since we just legalized same-sex marriage, it takes time for adjustment to occur. The more included LGBTQ+ members are in American governmental structure, the more equal we will be treated," says Cockrell.

The panelists hope that this discussion will allow members of the Queer community to reach out and network with one another.

"With the presentation we want to increase the acceptance, tolerance, and understanding that we're not odd people that choose to live away from the general population. We want to be accepted," added Cockrell.

The Geek Speak lecture series, sponsored by the BHSU University Honors program, features academic discussion and topics not normally discussed in the traditional classroom. The goal of the weekly lectures is to expose students to diversity within the disciplines.

For more information, contact Dr. Courtney Huse Wika, director of the University Honors Program and assistant professor of English, at 605-642-6918 or email Courtney.HuseWika@BHSU.edu.

The following on-campus Geek Speak presentations, are scheduled for this semester:
  • Oct. 13, "I'm Like, Who Needs This Grammar Stuff?" Dr. Andrey Reznikov, associate professor of English
  • Oct. 20, "999 Mona Lisas in the Age of Digital Reproduction:  A Tribute to the Life & Work of Walter Benjamin," Dr. Tim Steckline, professor of speech
  • Oct. 27, "Lawyers, Home Runs, and Money: The Long and Ongoing Corruption of Professional Baseball, America's Past-its-Time," Dr. David Cremean, professor of English
  • Nov. 3, "Are We All Related? Race and the Embrace of The Other," Jace DeCory, assistant professor of history and American Indian Studies, and Dr. Tim Steckline, professor of speech
  • Nov. 10, "Violence Against Native Women Occurring at Epidemic Rates. What is Being Done?" Dr.  Nikki Dragone, assistant professor of English
  • Nov. 17, "Supersymmetry, Superstrings and the quest for the Theory Of Everything," Dr. Parthasarathi Nag, professor of math
  • TBA:  The University Honors Student Capstone Defenses
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