Ryan Sallans to speak on campus


Courtesy of Oakland University

Ryan Sallans will be speaking at the Human Health Building room 1050 Thursday, Oct. 27 at noon.

As part of the Unity/Diversity theme of the College of Arts and Sciences this year, the college is teaming up with the Gender and Sexuality Center, the Women and Gender Studies Program and the Office of the Provost to bring Ryan Sallans to Oakland University.

Ryan Sallans is a transgender man who speaks on issues regarding transgender inclusivity on college campuses. His book, titled “Second Son” is about his experiences living as a transgender man and goes into detail about his transition and coming-out process.

In addition, Sallans has conducted more than 1,000 training sessions over the past 15 years about LGBT inclusivity on college campuses, according to his website ryansallans.com.

Jo Reger, director of the Women and Gender Studies Program, and Grace Wojcik, coordinator of the Gender and Sexuality Center, are two of the people who are helping bring Sallans to campus.

Reger explained that the provost approved bringing a speaker to campus to talk about trans-inclusivity, and that the provost is providing the funding for Sallans to come.

“We felt it was important to bring someone who knows the experience of being trans,” Wojcik said. “It was also important because we want the university community to be on the same page.”

Sallan’s lecture is called “Stepping Toward a Trans-Inclusive Campus,” and he will be speaking in 1050 HHB on Oct. 27 from noon until 1 p.m.

In addition, he will have a breakfast meeting with University President George Hynd and his cabinet. Sallans will also meet with classes and other campus administrators.

There will be a staff and faculty luncheon on Oct. 28 with Sallans, which Wojcik said will continue the dialogue from the lecture the day prior.

“I think we have multiple goals,” Reger said. “It will give students an idea of what being transgender is like and give a sense to the campus community on what a trans-inclusive society is.”

Reger said one goal of Sallans’ coming is to continue talks on the preferred name policy recently introduced at OU.


“We also want people to understand the importance of gender-neutral bathrooms and health care issues,” Reger said.

She said that there’s hope for Sallans to meet with medical students on campus about trans-inclusive health care.

“It’s not just about changing policy and the technical aspects,” Reger said. “It’s about creating a culture where people feel comfortable.”

The staff/faculty luncheon will be in the Lake Michigan Room in the Oakland Center at noon. Those interested in the luncheon should RSVP to [email protected].