Dr. Jill Drouillard wants to talk about LGBTQ healthcare.

Dr. Jill Drouillard

Given the large percentage of nursing students at Mississippi University for Women, Drouillard organized a Trans and Gender Affirming Care Workshop that will take place at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 28, on Zoom. The event is sponsored by the Philosophy program, the Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies Program, the Nursing program and the LGBTQ Fund of Mississippi.

Drouillard, assistant professor of Philosophy and affiliate faculty of Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies, was a spring 2022 Provost Fellow where she focused on initiatives to raise queer visibility on campus and in the community.

“This is an important discussion to have because there is only one clinic in Mississippi that specializes in transgender healthcare,” Drouillard said. “Many practitioners are not aware of the barriers that trans and gender nonconforming individuals face, whether that is due to a lack of access or a lack of comfortability around practitioners who participate in microaggressions such as deadnaming, not respecting pronouns and general insensitivity to their experiences.”

The workshop will feature Stacie Pace, a nurse practitioner and founder of Spectrum: The Other Clinic, the only transgender specialty clinic in Mississippi; and Dr. Tamsin Kimoto, assistant professor of philosophy and chair of Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies at Goucher College.

Drouillard contacted then Dean of Nursing Tammie McCoy after she was appointed Provost Fellow to discuss the workshop. Brandy Larmon was equally enthusiastic about the event when she took over as dean of nursing, so Drouillard applied for a grant from the LGBTQ Fund of Mississippi to help fund the workshop. The organization awarded Drouillard $1,500 to help complement funds provided by The W’s Office of Academic Affairs.

Drouillard said it is exciting to have Pace and Kimoto involved in the workshop because Pace will be able to share her experience as a registered nurse and a nurse practitioner in the South and expertise in transgender healthcare, while Kimoto’s areas of research in queer and trans studies, women of color feminisms and the health humanities will add important insights to the conversation, especially regarding the intersection of race and gender.

“Even though the workshop is geared toward nursing students in that it starts a conversation on how to provide better care for trans and gender nonconforming patients, the event is open to everyone and will hopefully help all participants become better allies,” Drouillard said.

Click the Zoom link to register for the event, which will include a question-and-answer session. Upon registration, participants will receive a passcode to enter the meeting: https://muw.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJwsduusqTgqE9zLdEpJA461mUN28ZbfU5up

In addition to the workshop, Drouillard is working with Beverly Joyce, W Galleries director, to curate a “Queer Aesthetics” art exhibition that will run Oct. 5-Nov. 10 at The W Galleries and is helping to revive the student club Queerspace, which will have its first meeting of the semester at 6 p.m. Thurs. Sept. 22 in the Gail P. Gunter Room at Fant Memorial Library. Those initiatives come at a time The W has changed its Women’s Studies major to Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies.

Drouillard said visibility and awareness about LGBTQ issues and healthcare education are essential for creating understanding and empathy.

“I came up with a project centered on queer visibility after a student said, ‘Trans doesn’t exist in the South,’” Drouillard said. “This student was not trying to be derisive, rather, he had never met a trans person. This isn’t because trans folk don’t exist in the South, but rather many trans and gender nonconforming individuals don’t feel comfortable coming out. Initiatives that promote queer visibility let the LGBTQ+ community know they are supported, and they allow other members of the community to gain exposure to queer experience. This is why diversity, equity and inclusion efforts must make visible a plurality of narratives.”


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sept. 26, 2022
Contact: Adam Minichino
acminichino@muw.edu
(662) 329-1976

About The W

Located in historic Columbus, Mississippi, The W was founded in 1884 as the first state-supported college for women in the United States. Today, the university is home to 2,339 students in more than 70 majors and concentrations and has educated men for 40 years. The university is nationally recognized for low student debt, diversity and social mobility which empowers students to BE BOLD.

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