College of Health and Human Performance

Transparency Focuses on Transgender Physiology and Wellness

“Transparency: Physiology, Wellness and Beyond in the Trans Community” was hosted in the Florida Gym on April 15.

Transparency Focuses on Transgender Physiology and Wellness

On Monday, April 15, HHP, with support from Multicultural & Diversity Affairs, hosted “Transparency: Physiology, Wellness and Beyond in the Trans Community.”

“Transparency” got its start through one of Dr. Joslyn Ahlgren’s physiology students, sophomore Stephen Marangi. Using Marangi’s personal experiences, the two designed a class project which researched the effects of medical transitioning on various organ systems.

Later, the project evolved into a fully-fledged event, hosted in the Florida Gym complete with a community expo, student poster presentations and a panel discussion.

The event began with student presentations on physiological changes during the medical transition process. In an open symposium, presenters from Ahlgren’s human physiology class responded to questions posed by faculty judges and members of the community.

To make their posters, students researched academic journals and used skills learned in their human physiology class to fill the gaps in their medical knowledge. Although basic physiology content found in standard anatomy and physiology textbooks addresses a variety of clinical topics, little to none addresses the needs of the trans community.

Later in the evening, a panel of clinicians and community members answered questions from Ahlgren. Each member of the panel offered their personal experiences on various issues, including transitioning barriers, social stigmas and a lack of awareness among healthcare providers.

According to Ahlgren, “Transparency” became a larger-than-life event and bigger than she could have ever imagined. Attendees had the opportunity to learn new information shared by LGBTQ advocates and take this knowledge forward into professional careers and other opportunities.

Ahlgren said that despite the project’s rigor, her students have resoundingly thanked her for the project. She said that students found the project highly valuable both personally and for their future careers in healthcare.

In addition to Ahlgren and Marangi, the organizing committee included Adrienne Brown, Taylor Green, Rachel Kelley, Delainie McNeil, Michael Murphy, Michelle Smith and Michael Spear.

“Go outside and share, share, share,” Ahlgren said at the conclusion of the event. “What you learned in here can only make a difference if you help educate others.”

Additional links: View event photosRead coverage from WUFT | Read article in the Alligator


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