I really enjoyed Laura’s presentation. I cannot image how difficult it would have been to open up about her personal experiences in life, let alone be willing to share her story with a group of strangers. Laura is evidently a strong, empowering woman, and I was extremely inspired by her presentation.
I appreciated all the knowledge and information she shared with us. I have found that sometimes while researching these topics, it can be difficult to find the precise information you are looking for, so to have Laura share valuable accurate knowledge was extremely beneficial to me, as I now feel I have gained a better understanding, which will be useful in my career as a teacher. For instance, I had no idea what cisgender was prior to this presentation (and wow do I plan on now utilizing this word in my life), so it was great to get the definitions of these terms from Laura, as I would have never thought to look up and research more about these terms on my own. I also appreciated that she allowed us to ask her any questions and encouraged a safe and open environment for discussion, as I am sure many people would have been hesitant. This also made me value how important it is that I create a learning environment for my students where they feel comfortable to talk about these topics without any fear of being judged.
Additionally, I liked how Laura shared both the hardships she faced in her life as well as the joys that came out of her opening up about her true identity. There is no doubt that she went through some really rough and scary times, but to know that the risk she took by telling the truth about who she was ended up being the best decision in her life is truly inspiring. Laura is now a confident role model, who has found true happiness, and her message about taking a risk and exposing your true identity is something I find valuable for my future students to understand. Her story and knowledge has encouraged me to insure I have various resources in my classroom that represent all sorts of identities and ways of living and understanding.