S. Bear Bergman | Workshops
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This workshop was an amazing opportunity for queer and trans youth to put their experience into words and share them with others. The resulting performance was both intimate and powerful and moved the audience to a greater understanding and compassion. I would strongly encourage anyone who works with youth who have both struggled and triumphed to experience this remarkable opportunity. As one youth so succinctly put it, “I learned that my experiences matter to people”.
– Leighann Wichmann, Executive Director, The Youth Project: Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity

Is It OK to Ask My Question

People who are out of the mainstream in some way – in terms of ethnicity, sexuality, body, identity, and so on – are often put into the position of being cast as Native Informants. Talk and learn about the delicate balancing act between wanting to be more educated and putting someone on the spot; about locating the boundaries between learning facts and interrogating truths, between curiosity and intrusion. We’ll explore the role of power and privilege in these communications, and try to create greater understanding of how we move in and out of those places so we know when (and where, and how) it is okay to get our questions answered (and what to say when we don’t have the energy to answer anymore today).

Please note: this workshop is 90 minutes long, and latecomers cannot be admitted.

Storytime For Little Queers

A milk-and-cookies pajama party where people of any age can enjoy children’s books that celebrate gender variance and LGBTQ identities, read aloud with flourish. Books to be read (and discussed, if the audience prefers) include out-of-print classics, international titles, and several of Bear’s own trans-positive children’s books. For families during the early evening, or for youth groups or university students to snuggle up, unwind, and enjoy.

Sex Positive Trans Sex

Come to talk about bodies, language, behaviors, and desires (and coming!) – all presented with trans*, genderqueer, and gender non-conforming people in mind. Our communities have particular concerns, as well as special opportunities for fun and frolic, that are often left out of mainstream Sex Ed. We’ll talk about what can be adapted for our bodies and how to do it. Here’s a chance to learn about the care, feeding, and delight of your tingly bits (and/or those of your partner) in a safe and trans-positive environment. This workshop was developed in partnership with Tobi Hill-Meyer.

Provider workshops, given separately, are also available.

Writing With and About Gender

Designed to get writers thinking about the language of gender, its vernacular and lexicon and ways of making itself heard in writing, and then figuring out personal, useful ways to turn that to their advantage. This workshop is appropriate for any one who can form a sentence, regardless of hir experience as a writer: from novelists writing transgendered characters to transfolk writing about their experiences to academics tackling queer theory to people still exploring the nature of their gender and sexuality in private writing to absolutely anyone else. Feedback opportunities will be provided but not required.

A Re-Introduction to the Only-Mostly-Dead Art of Chivalry (Now! With 200% More Feminism!)

Everyone’s heard the stories: men who get kneed in the balls for holding open a door, youngsters who sprawl on bus seats while elders stand, the myth of the handkerchief-carrying gentleman, and all the rest. What, exactly, do girls womenpeople want in the world of chivalry? How can a modern gentleperson be courteous without being sexist or a suckup? And while we’re at it – who goes through the door first, again? Talk a little about the principles, and then learn a lot about the mechanics of walking in public (v. walking in private, natch), and a whole lot more.