Karen McLaughlin shares her experiences as a transgender person with Raul Obregon

Nanaimo students learn through ‘human library’

NANAIMO – Goal of event to dispel myths and stereotypes through discussion.

Students at Wellington Secondary School had an opportunity Thursday to learn first-hand about the transgender experience as part of the Human Library.

The event saw real people – the books – available for chat, affording students the chance to learn about the people’s experiences. The aim was to dispel myths and stereotypes through discussion.

Karen McLauglin said she is an ordinary person, save for “one curious fact,” which isn’t all that relevant to anyone else. She hopes that by being part of the library, it will lead to more open-mindedness. It is a small political act, she hopes leads to a world where diversity is OK.

McLaughlin said there are misconceptions, such as a transgender person in a women’s washroom being a threat, which is a myth she hopes to dispel.

“The untruth of that I hope is made manifest, becomes obvious, when they see that, ‘Gee, she’s pretty ordinary. ‘She’s just another woman. She’s not a danger, she’s not a threat, she’s not anyway unusual except for that one fact in her personal history,’” said McLaughlin.

McLaughlin had an effect on students such as Raul Obregon, a Grade 12 international student from Mexico.

“She gave me her story of her process,” said Obregon. “It wasn’t just a moment. It was 50 years of feeling uncomfortable and having to pretend, because it was a very different time back then right? It is an emotional story. I think she’s brave. I was very inspired.”

In terms of what Obregon can apply to his own life, he said it was to be himself.

“I think that’s the biggest lesson I got out of her, it’s just listen to your heart … I agree with that. To truly listen to yourself,” Obregon said.

The Human Library originated in Denmark in 2000.

Just Posted

UPDATE: Senior found after search of north Nanaimo-Lantzville area

Wayne Strilesky found safe in thick brush by search and rescue canine team

UPDATE: Nanaimo RCMP locate woman who didn’t return from trip

Nanaimo RCMP report Rachelle Dawn Walton, reported missing July 23, has been found

Hearings begin as Vancouver Island mom fights for allegedly abducted daughter

Tasha Brown now in Jersey in the British Isles, fundraiser being held in Nanaimo

Swollen Members rapper Madchild to perform at the Queen’s

Rapper’s new album ‘Demons’ reflects on his struggles with drug addiction

Another section of Bruce Avenue closing for construction

New curbs, gutters, lighting installation will detour traffic to Howard Avenue for three weeks

B.C. cricket players get interrupted by racist remark

Community has had protocols in place for years to respond to prejudice

Groovy B.C. wedding a throwback to Woodstock ‘69

Couple hosts themed wedding 50 years after legendary festival

Nearly 50% of Canadians experience the ‘post-vacation blues’: poll

48 per cent of travellers are already stressed about ‘normal life’ while still on their trip

More women may need breast cancer gene test, U.S. guidelines say

Recommendations aimed at women who’ve been treated for BRCA-related cancers and are now cancer-free

Couple could go to jail for taking 88 lbs. of Italian sand

Pair said they didn’t know it was illegal to take the sand, which is protected as a public good

Bodies of two missing Surrey men found near Ashcroft: RCMP

Ryan Provencher and Richard Scurr have been missing since July 17

B.C. manhunt suspects left cellphone video before they died: family

Family member says Kam McLeod, Bryer Schmegelsky recorded final wishes

Most Read