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March 31, 2004

Transgendered deaf man to share his experience

From: Daily Nebraskan - Lincoln,NE,USA - Mar 31, 2004

By NIKKI GOLLNER / DN Staff Writer
March 31, 2004

Diversity comes in different forms of orientation and gender.

On Thursday, a nationally known speaker will be at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln City Campus Union Centennial Room at 7 p.m. to speak about the different forms of diversity.

Dragonsani "Drago" Renteria will be on hand to share his personal experience as a deaf transgender male. He will speak about what it was like to change from a woman to a man.

Renteria is a founder of the Deaf Queer Resource Center, a national, non-profit resource and information center about the deaf lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and the National Deaf GLBT Archives.

The idea to bring Renteria to campus came from Dan Franks, a member of the Committee for GLBT Concerns at UNL.

"While brainstorming ideas of who we could invite to UNL as part of the symposium series, some people mentioned that they would like to do something that has to do with transgender issues," Franks said.

The symposium series consists of committees composed of faculty and staff who work to bring in well-known speakers to the UNL campus.

The process to invite Renteria started last spring and it became official last fall.

"I'm glad we were able to make it work," Franks said. "As people who are transgender become more and more visible, it is important that opportunities are available for people to learn about what it means to be transgender. Plus, Drago is deaf, so we will also learn more about deafness."

Renteria's partner, Jennifer Mantle, who facilitates a support group for partners and families of transgender males and works as a sign language interpreter in the San Francisco Bay Area, will speak on her perspective as the partner of a transgender man. She also serves on the Boards of Female-to-Male International and the Northern California Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf.

"This presentation will raise awareness and increase the visibility that there are a variety of sexual orientation and sexual identities," said Pat Tetreault, sexuality education coordinator for the University Health Center. "The presentation will make people aware that we all have multiple identities and we can become more understanding and aware of it."

The event is free and open to the public. Renteria's presentation will be interpreted for both deaf and hearing audience members.

Sponsors include Spectrum; GLBT and Ally Student Association; Committee for GLBT Concerns; Parents, Friends and Family of Lesbians and Gays; and others.

Dragonsani "Drago" Renteria
[ When ] Thursday, 7 p.m.

[ Where ] Nebraska Union Centennial Room

[ What ] A speaker about a man's personal experience as a transgender male

© 2004 Daily Nebraskan