The following is a copy of the letter of introduction sent to
college and university student organizations when Debra contacts them about coming to their campus for
Dear Student Organization,
My name is Debra Davis and I am a retired transgender high school librarian. I retired in 2001, after working 32 years in secondary education, the last three years as an out transgender woman at my school. Recently I have been speaking about my experiences and presenting at campuses and organizations around the country. I give 50 to 80 presentations a year. In 2007 through 2010, I traveled to 14 states giving 232 presentations. In the last two decades I have presented over 1,100 presntations and workshops. (over 500 on college campuses)
I would love to come to your campus and speak about the experience of being out and visible as a transgender person in a public high school. (I am one of only a small handful of transgender secondary educators in the country.) I left school one Friday as a man and successfully returned the following Monday as the woman, Debra Davis. I talk about self-esteem, being true to yourself and being proud of who you are. People have called my presentation "an incredibly gentle portrayal of a sometimes taboo subject." Others have said:
". . . She blew me away. It was the only time in my life I've felt compelled to go up and hug a presenter."
". . . Thank you for always being available to teach us. Your spirit is indeed a gift from God."
". . . I have never before been exposed to anyone like Debra. Listening to her speak gave me the feeling of embarking on something new, something that was going to forever change my perspective on life."
". . . I am so grateful she came to speak to us. Her story touched my heart."
". . . The frankness of Debra is both encouraging and enlightening, that we all should listen to our inner voice and be 'true to our self.'"
". . . The understanding she created was phenomenal!"
I keynote many conferences, I am a major campus presenter, I do luncheon and after dinner speaking, I present to groups of all kinds & sizes and also give an array of workshops. In addition I do inservice and training for students and staff.
Some colleges have added sexual orientation to their nondiscrimination policies. Many have not. Few have "gender identity and expression" included in their policy. I can help start a dialogue at your school to get these policies initiated as well as work with your group to map out successful strategies for implementation.
Enclosed is my brief biography and excerpts from letters I have received after speaking, as well as a list of the over 1,100 places I have given presentations and workshops over the last 20 years (500 at colleges and universities). If you would like more information, please let me know or check my web site, www.debradavis.org.
I would welcome the opportunity to come to your campus and help your organization in any way I can. I have a sliding fee scale so most organizations have found my presentation affordable. I have also sent a letter to your Campus Activities Director. Also, feel free to forward this information to others at your school who might have an interest.
If you have received more than one letter or have a name or address correction, please let me know and I will update my mailing list for next year. Feel free to use my web site, www.debradavis.org, for a transgender resource link on your web page if you want. Take a look and see if it would work for you. I may be reached by phone or e-mail listed below, and look forward to hearing from you.
Peace and Love,
Retired High School Media Specialist &
Executive Director, Gender Education Center
P.O Box 1861, Maple Grove, MN 55311
Home office: 763/424-5445
www.debradavis.org - gec @ debradavis.org
A Minnesota non-profit corporation of
differently gendered people dedicated to support, advocacy & education.
Funded in part by grants from Philanthrofund Foundation, Headwaters Foundation, honorariums and individual donations.
GENDER EDUCATION CENTER P.O. BOX 1861 MAPLE GROVE, MN 55311 763/424-5445 www.debradavis.org