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Toward a More Inclusive Linfield

portrait of Trystan Reese

Posted on 12.02.22 by Kelly Williams Brown in College of Arts & Science, School of Business, School of Nursing, OCE, Athletics

Portrait of Trystan ReeseLGBTQ+ educator Trystan Reese gave easy and actionable tips during diversity trainings for students and employees.

LGBTQ+ educator and expert Trystan Reese gave three warm, empathetic and actionable seminars in October on how Linfield students, faculty and staff can be more inclusive of the LGBTQ community. 

Trystan’s work at Linfield, which also includes future targeted trainings, website improvements and an update to the university’s style guide, is part of an ongoing commitment to making Linfield University a place where all students, faculty and staff feel welcomed, seen and supported. These efforts are funded by the Lacroute Initiative for Advancing the Liberal Arts.  

Associate Director of Academic Advising Jane Samuels was instrumental in bringing Trystan to campus as a member of Queer Connect, a group of Linfield staff, students and faculty who work to make Linfield welcoming to all folks. 

After watching the presentations, Jane said, she was struck by how different — but equally useful — each was. 

“His approach differs, but he gives really accessible and immediately applicable tactics to undo bias and create a more inclusive space,” she said, citing his use of himself to explain various parts of a human’s identity. 

Trystan speaking behind a podium during the faculty resilience training session at LinfieldDuring the Staff Assembly meeting, he explained that his assigned sex is female, meaning when he was born, that’s how doctors identified him. His gender identity — who he is inside — is male, he said. “Right now, I have a five-year-old son whose identity is ‘big boy!’” he explained to laughs, adding that this element of self shows up ages 3-5.  

Gender expression, he said, is the outward appearance and what the world sees — whether we present ourselves as more feminine, more masculine, something in between or neither. Finally, sexual orientation refers to the people we are attracted to and want to have relationships with.  

“Having that visual scale was so helpful to understand what queerness is,” Jane said. “All of us can apply that for our lives and people in our lives.”  

Trystan’s visit was supported by:

Trystan also spoke at Linfield on Trans Day of Visibility in 2021. Videos of student, staff and faculty videos are all available to stream. Future work with Trystan will be covered and shared with the Linfield community. 

Watch the training sessions

For students

For staff

For faculty