What: “Transforming Gender: Transgender Symposium:
When: Friday and Saturday
Where: University of Colorado campus, Boulder
Q & A with Tristan Taormino
Q: Who’s your favorite porn star?
A: Adrianna Nicole
Q: Howard Stern: Pig or gentleman?
A: Gentleman pig
Q: When you were a kid, what did you want to grow up and become?
A: I recall wanting to be a “Solid Gold” dancer or a teacher. I think I’ve become a little bit of both.
Q: Best pick-up line?
A: Let’s fuck
Q: Do you ever blush?
A: Very rarely!
The University of Colorado is hosting a conference on transgender issues this weekend, recruiting one of radio shock jock Howard Stern’s favorite guests to talk about sexuality.
Tristan Taormino — a feminist porn director, author of an anal sex guide for women and popular “sexpert” on the college speaking circuit — will give two talks at CU’s Transgender Symposium, which opens Friday.
Her first speech, at 10 a.m. Saturday in CU’s Old Main, will explore safe places for transgender people, as they are often marginalized at sex parties and clubs, which have been created as havens from a traditionally sex-negative society, according to a synopsis of the talk.
The talk addresses why trans people are viewed as dangerous in erotic atmospheres, and how safe places can be created for all genders.
Society has competing thoughts about transgendered people: Nobody wants to talk about their sexual orientation, yet they’re featured prominently in porn, said Kevin Correa of CU’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Resource Center.
“Transgendered people are simultaneously hypersexed and desexualized,” he said.
Correa said the resource center has advertised the event to students in the dorms and classrooms, saying it will be a forum to talk candidly and respectfully about sexuality and gender.
Taormino, who identifies as queer, said she wants to talk about creating “trans-inclusive” spaces.
“My own sexual coming of age definitely happened in college, and while that’s not a universal experience, I think it is a common one,” Taormino said. “College can be a time to separate from your parents and family and strike out on you own to discover your individual identity.”
She said she tailors her presentations to what the student groups have requested, but never censors herself.
“There has been controversy, backlash and even protests about my talks on college campuses, but I welcome it all — that’s what college is about,” she said. “Students should be exposed to lots of different points of view, people and ideas, then think critically about them, debate them and create dialogue around them.”
The conference will include an art show, interactive theater presentation and other talks.