KC Spotlight - Gender & Sexuality


Author
Travis Tucker, NASPA IV-W Gender & Sexuality KC Representative

Published
March 26, 2018


Hello Region IV-West! My name is Travis Tucker and I serve as the Region IV-West Gender and Sexuality KC Representative. I work as the Assistant Director of Leadership and LGBTQIA Involvement at Washington University in St. Louis.  I am in the beginning months of a two year term as one of your KC Representatives. In this role, I will work alongside the Gender and Sexuality KC to help bring education and awareness to our region about a multitude of topics. But one thing that I have quickly learned in my role is that it cannot be done alone; that is where you come in!

We are slowly moving to a point where students are navigating and owning their identities at a much younger age. A recent study highlighted this change by comparing  the coming out age of a person in that is currently in their mid-30’s to a person that is 18-24. The study found that on average, the person in their mid-30’s came out when they were 21; the 18-24 average was 16. This highlights a growing normalcy and acceptance of all identities, but also supports why it is so important for student affairs practitioners to engage in conversation and education around gender and sexuality issues. This education and support can come in many forms, including supporting the work of our Gender and Sexuality KC. In the past, the group has offered numerous webinars, research articles, and tools to engage people in these topics and will continue doing the same.

One of the initiatives that I am not only most excited about, but plan on bringing to IV-West, is the Family Project. The mentorship program will pair one LGBTQIA+ identifying mentor and mentee together to learn and engage. Mentorship is a huge part of our work with students and is a reason why many of us come into the field. This program will allow NASPA to continue expanding its ring of support, recognizing its intersections and its impact.

As I said earlier in the column, this work could never be done alone; if you are interested in helping educate your region around issues concerning gender and sexuality, please let me know! Volunteering to NASPA and Region IV-West will provide you an opportunity to connect with professionals from different regions and states. Regardless if you are a graduate student, new or mid-level professional your thoughts and perspectives are welcome and valued around these topics. If you would like to chat more about these issues or how else you can get involved, please let me know.

I so look forward to serving you all in this role! You can reach me at [email protected].


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