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Gender affirming workshop series to provide resources to Wyomingites

A close up of a small rainbow flag along with Pride and Ally pins. Students work in the background.
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University of Wyoming
The University of Wyoming has a Rainbow Resource Room for LGBTQ+ students.

The University of Wyoming Multicultural Affairs Center is working together with Wyoming Equality to provide gender affirming workshops. The series will provide information on things like voice training, changing your name, and make-up application to provide essential care to those with changing gender identities. The idea is to provide gender affirming care for students who might not have access to materials.

Ray Kasckow is a part of Wyoming Equality and they heard of improper breast binding techniques leading to injury. Binding is flattening breast tissues in order to present traditionally masculine. They said the improper binding was most likely due to a lack of access to proper techniques in Wyoming.

“A lot of these small rural towns don't necessarily have those resources that are necessary for people to have safe places to be themselves and have these gender affirming care, resources,” they said.

Kasckow said they want to present a lot of perspectives on what gender affirming care means, and that’s why the series is focusing on a different topic every time they meet into next spring.

Tyler Wolfgang, the LGBTQ+ coordinator for the University of Wyoming, said they want to bring more visibility to the community.

“So there's this idea that there are no LGBTQ folks within Wyoming and that's simply not the case. There are queer communities and pockets of queer communities everywhere you go in Wyoming,” Wolfgang said.

Talks began about the Gender Affirming series early this year, and since Wolfgang is on the board for Laramie Pride Fest they did similar programming during pride this summer.

“So we try to fill in that lack of programming and information. At a large scale with both of our offices is kind of like the goal here,” they said.

The first workshop is about hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and hormone blockers. Diane Bruessow is with Yale School of Medicine and has written over 100 articles and medical textbook chapters. She will be leading the discussion at the series' first workshop Sept. 26.

Wolfgang said even though gender affirming resources are scarce in Wyoming towns, many other colleges and Universities are working on providing these resources via hybrid presentation.

One of Wyoming Equality’s priorities is suicide prevention, and this series hopes to connect LGBTQ+ individuals with others in hopes of creating a more visible community.

These workshops will be available on the University of Wyoming campus and online for anyone to join.

Taylar Dawn Stagner is a central Wyoming rural and tribal reporter for Wyoming Public Radio. She has degrees in American Studies, a discipline that interrogates the history and culture of America. She was a Native American Journalist Association Fellow in 2019, and won an Edward R. Murrow Award for her Modern West podcast episode about drag queens in rural spaces in 2021. Stagner is Arapaho and Shoshone.
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