EXCLUSIVE: UW-La Crosse shells out $5,000 for speech from transgender activist
The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse shelled out $5,000 to a transgender activist for two hours of speaking time.
The activist told students that “true freedom isn’t choosing from pre-selected, societally-accepted options, but writing in your own option for who you are.”
The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse paid $5,000 to a transgender activist for two hours of speaking time.
According to a contract obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, Campus Reform learned that the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse paid Alok Vaid-Menon — an “internationally acclaimed gender non-conforming writer, performer, and public speaker” — for a talk on February 16 about the activist's new book Beyond the Binary.
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The book encourages readers to “see gender not in black and white, but in full color.” Vaid-Menon draws upon experience “as a gender-nonconforming artist” to show that “gender is a malleable and creative form of expression.”
“The only limit is your imagination,” says the book’s description.
The contract obtained by Campus Reform states that Vaid-Menon was paid $5,000 to speak for a total of two hours on the evening of February 16. The event included a forty-minute period of questions and answers, as well as a meeting with “Queer and Trans, Black, Indigenous, and other students and staff of color.”
According to the university’s Pride Center, Vaid-Menon told students that “true freedom isn’t choosing from pre-selected, societally-accepted options, but writing in your own option for who you are.”
“Transness is strength and the trans community is powerful,” he also said.
Campus Reform reached out to the University of Wisconsin La-Crosse for comment; this article will be updated accordingly.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @BenZeisloft