The impact of transition for a transgender individual extends far beyond the self to their families, friends, colleagues and community. UNC Charlotte’s Aliaga-Buchenau Witness in Residence Initiative will host a community conversation that explores transgender lives in those contexts.
This community conversation will begin at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 9, at UNC Charlotte Center City. A dessert reception will follow. The event is open without charge, but registration is requested.
Witnesses for the April 9 conversation will be:
- Matthew Rice is a transgender man who lives in Charlotte and who has conducted research on HIV/AIDS in the transgender community in San Francisco and now teaches science in a local high school. He is a board member for Time Out Youth, a local organization that provides a safe space for all LGBTQ teens
- Debra Hopkins, a transgender woman who is an ordained minister, is a motivational speaker and teacher who addresses issues of gender equality. She is director of There's Still Hope, a transitional home for the trans community established to help end homelessness in Charlotte. Hopkins has written a memoir, “Not Until You Have Walked in My Shoes–My Story”
- Debra Bercuvitz, a lesbian who has been partnered with a transman for 27 years, has published and spoken extensively about this experience to college and national audiences. Her relationship transition was documented as the cover story of the New York Times magazine in October 2001. Bercuvitz holds a master’s degree in public health from UNC Chapel Hill and lives in Massachusetts. She coordinates substance use interventions for the Department of Public Health’s maternal and child health bureau.
In addition to the public conversation, the three will meet and talk with students and faculty at UNC Charlotte and other area universities and high schools as a part of the Aliaga-Buchenau Witness in Residence Initiative. Now in its fourth year, the initiative provides education about human rights and social justice for the UNC Charlotte campus and the greater Charlotte community.