GULFPORT, FLORIDA: A special guest speaker, a wine and cheese reception, exhibits and film screening are events planned to highlight transgender awareness at the Gulfport Public Library during the month of November. All events are free and open to the public and take place at the Library (5501 28th Avenue South).
“Transcending Gender: Bodies and Lives” is the subject of an exhibit to be displayed in the Library atrium through the month of November. The exhibit, on loan from the Stonewall Museum and Archives, addresses the intersection of gender and transgender people as part of the larger LGBTQ+ acronym. Exploring the interconnectedness and separateness of gender and sexual orientation, the exhibit presents language and etiquette addressing transgender people and subjects, as well as a timeline of the cultural and human rights struggles of transgender people in the United States, including images of prominent transgender activists and celebrities. “Transcending Gender” also highlights ongoing issues in the movement.
An opening reception for the exhibit will be held on Thursday November 1 at 7p.m. Complimentary wine, soft beverages and cheeses will be offered. At 7:30 p.m. on the same evening, dynamic guest speaker Ashley Brundage will be featured. Ashley will talk about her personal journey through discrimination and harassment to rise above and find employment with a major U.S. bank. She self-identified during the interview process as a male to female transgender woman and was subsequently hired, beginning as a part-time teller and now working as a bank Vice President with the National Diversity and Inclusion team. Ashley is a public speaker in great demand, having presented to numerous Fortune 500 companies, as well as universities and governmental agencies. She recently celebrated 16 years of marriage to her wife Whitney and together they have two biological sons: Bryce, 12 and Blake, 10.
The free monthly LGBTQ film series at the Library will feature an award-winning 2016 film on November 8 at 7 p.m. Filmed over the course of four years, this documentary is an intimate story about a family in transition, following the journey of trans teen Bennett as he navigates adolescence, sobriety and the physical and emotional ramifications of his changing gender identity. Through the process, his mother Suzy makes her own transformation – toward accepting that the daughter she raised as Rachel is now her son Bennett. (Not Rated) Licensing restrictions prohibit explicitly naming of film titles in general press releases. But feel free to call the Library at (727) 893-1074 for the film title and other information about the film series. Or find titles and more information online: www.mygulfport.us/lgbtq-resources.
The Library will also feature a display of selected books and films with transgender themes during November. All items are from the 3000+ LGBTQ collection at the Library and available for check out.
All programs are sponsored by the LGBTQ Resource Center, a project of the non-profit Circle of Friends of the Gulfport Public Library. The Resource Center provides collections, services and events throughout the year to the local LGBTQ community, its friends and family. Find out more about the Resource Center, the Circle of Friends and the Library on the web at www.mygulfport.us/gpl or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GulfportLibraryFL.