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University Relations

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April 10, 2006
Contact: Michael Franklin, KU Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Programs and Services, (785) 864-2802.

Author, KU graduate to join Transgender 101 panel discussion at KU on Wednesday

LAWRENCE — A transsexual woman who is a national advocate for transgender issues will be the keynote speaker at a panel discussion on gender identity and expression Wednesday at the University of Kansas.

“Transgender 101: Introduction to Transgender Issues,” which will feature other transgender community members including a KU graduate, is slated for 7:30 to 10 p.m. April 12 in Woodruff Auditorium of the Kansas Union. The KU Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Programs and Services office is sponsoring the event.

“The purpose of the program is to provide a simple but effective way to educate people about a highly marginalized segment of the population,” said Michael Franklin, LGBT Programs and Services resource coordinator at KU. “Providing education about what this part of the community faces is an excellent way to open up dialogue between the LGBT community and the heterosexual community.”

The panel discussion will cover personal stories, legal implications and local and national issues.

Keynote speaker Donna Rose of Scottsdale, Ariz., is a postoperative transsexual woman who lived the first 40 years of her life as man. Today she serves on the Human Rights Campaign Board of Directors and is the author of Wrapped in Blue. Rose is a well-known educator and spokesperson addressing misconceptions and prejudice regarding transgender people.

The panelist include:

— Jamie Tyroler, a Sedalia, Mo., native and 1982 KU graduate in psychology, writes for CAMP, a Kansas City-area LGBT newspaper, and also facilitates a transsexual support group. She is helping plan the 2006 Creating Change Conference in Kansas City this November.

— Shelly Freeman, a labor law attorney in Kansas City, Mo., is president of Human Resources Return on Investment L.L.C., a subsidiary of law firm Lathrop and Gage. She specializes in transgender issues.

— Donna Ross, a former male sportscaster now living in Kansas City, is a board member of the Kansas City Anti-Violence Project and a member of the Kansas City Coalition for Welcoming Ministries. Ross disclosed her transgenderism to work colleagues in 2004.

For more information, contact Michael Franklin at or (785) 864-2802. For information on the national transgender movement, visit


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