Transgender speaker educates faculty and staff

When Aurora native Ryan Sallans began his transitional journey from female to male in 2005, he saw a great need for broader education and access to care. He now spends his time educating others around the world and talking about his own personal journey.

“Over the past 17 years, I’ve worked on honing my craft of blending evidence-based education with storytelling,” Sallans said. “I’ve found that by presenting the historical science along with a personal journey, audiences tend to open up more to a topic that is still seen as controversial.”

On Friday, Nov. 18, Sallans provided training to Southeast Community College faculty and staff about transgender college students, and covered topics such as diversity, misinformation and discrimination. Because educators tend to be key resources for trans people, Sallans was invited to teach staff how to create a safer, more inviting and inclusive campus for trans people.

“The Arts & Sciences department is committed to bringing diverse voices to campus, which can help lead to inclusivity of diverse groups of students,” said event organizer, Cara Benedict.

“I will be addressing barriers that are presented to individuals that identify as transgender on campus,” he said. “My hope is that through the training, staff and faculty can begin to identify where these barriers exist at SCC and then begin to brainstorm ways to break them down. I often say, when we address the barriers presented to transgender people, we address the barriers that gender presents us all.”

Sallans holds degrees from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln: a bachelor’s degree in cultural anthropology and English and two master’s degrees, one in English and another in educational psychology. He is now based in Omaha. In addition to being a full-time speaker, he has also written two books: Second Son (2012) and Transforming Manhood (2019). He is currently working on his third book, Finding Me: Finding We.

Andrea Gallagher
Communications Specialist