The Silberman Center for Sexuality and Gender explores and advocates for sexuality and gender equality through research, events, and education.
Current projects include:
Exploring Gendered Pregnancy Norms with Butch-identified Lesbians and Genderqueer Individuals
Sexuality & Gender in Social Work Contexts
This first forum of the Silberman Center for Sexuality and Gender convened speakers from different social work contexts and settings to discuss how sexuality is woven into their work.
REALYST is a national collaborative of academic and community partners that uses research to inform innovative policies, programs and services aimed at ending homelessness and housing instability among young people. We believe that understanding youth homelessness helps communities create effective solutions for preventing it.
trans/gender expansive youth homelessness
In addition to experiences of harassment and discrimination, difficulties accessing trans-affirming supports and services, and widespread transbias, transgender and gender expansive youth experiencing homelessness must also contend with structural constraints and oppressive messages about who they are and who they can become. Despite these challenges, transgender and gender expansive youth experiencing homelessness are finding innovative ways to resist the multiple and overlapping institutionalized challenges they face. I hope that my work in this area informs policy and program development to reduce the institutional barriers trans/gender expansive youth face.
queering social work education
Social work as a profession includes social justice as a core value. This core value not only challenges social workers to support social justice, but also to actively combat social injustice. In order to effectively combat social injustice, we must acknowledge social work’s historical connection to the oppression of queer and trans people through individual pathology and dismantle the systems and institutions in which social workers are involved that are rooted in ideas of white supremacy, heterosexism, and cisgenderism.
My organizing work is focused on community responses to youth homelessness. Centering the experiences of LGBTQ youth and Black youth, two of the groups most impacted by housing instability and homelessness, I work alongside communities to develop collaborative solutions to ensure all youth have access to safe and stable housing.
beyond the binary
Much my work is focused on moving beyond binary categorizations, particularly the gender binary. The gender binary affects all people, because all people have gender identities and all people are constrained by the social constructs created and maintained by the gender binary. Those of us who exist outside of the gender binary experience a range of exclusionary and sometimes hostile actions on a daily basis. It’s time to shift the focus from individual “non-conformity” to structural oppression rooted in the gender binary and societal manifestations of binary thinking.