Well, as I said this morning, that was fun.
I had some idea of what to expect because the talk had been on Eventbrite, but the last figure I’d been given was 60, and for a free event a significant percentage of people who have booked don’t bother to turn up. As it turned out, we got over 100, and the number of those with blue or green hair was significant. It was a lovely audience.
As it turned out, I’d had quite a bit of competition. The Welsh National Poet, Gillian Clarke, was giving a lecture in the English department, so all of the Literature staff had to be there instead. And Owen Jones was signing his new book in Waterstones so lot of local lefties (and some Waterstones staff – sorry Glyn) had to be there.
But the Vice Chancellor came to see me. She gave a lovely speech about the importance of diversity. And we chatted afterwards about Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Suzy McKee Charnas.
The talk went fine, and we had some good questions at the end. Does anyone know of any academic studies done on the way that talking animals get gendered (cats = female, dogs = male, etc.)?
The talk was recorded (audio only, I’m not that cruel to you) by both me and the University, and I’ve left my copy of the recording with them. Hopefully there will be something online soon. In the meantime you can see the slide pack here.
The Flagship people, the LGBT staff group who put on the talk, seemed very happy to have got so many people, and especially the VC. Andy Sawyer and his colleagues at the Science Fiction Collection (of which more later) were happy to have an SF-related event. And from my point of view I was absolutely delighted that a major university asked a trans person to give a lecture on a trans-related subject. I know there were several people from the local trans community in the audience. I hope this helps them in some way.