Speakers Bureau is an educational service provided by the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center. NIU students and community members volunteer to speak about their experiences as a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer individual or cisgender and/or heterosexual ally. Speakers Bureau provides training for individuals to participate in open and informed discussions on campus and in our DeKalb community. Speakers Bureau is available to speak for student groups, in classes, in residence halls or for other appropriate engagements.
If you are interested in joining, submit a Speakers Bureau Interest Form. The Speakers Bureau graduate coordinator will then review your application and contact you through email.
Speakers Bureau offers two types of speaking engagements:
- Experience Panel
- Generally, each engagement includes a panel of two to five individuals who will begin the presentation by introducing themselves and sharing some information about their own stories and backgrounds. The panelists then open the floor for questions from the audience in order to engage audience members in an interactive discussion. Our speakers can cover a wide variety of topics relating to sexual orientation and gender identity.
- LGBT 101
- One student will facilitate a workshop that serves as a precursor to the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center’s Ally Training. Attendees will learn about the gender binary, terminology, the difference between gender and sex and how allies can help the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community.
Many people have questions about what it's like to be lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer. Often, they have never had an opportunity to ask these questions, or they have never felt comfortable asking what they really want to know. We provide trained speakers to answer questions as part of an open, informed and respectful discussion. For many of the audiences we encounter, our speaking engagements may be their first opportunity to learn about the very real human side of LGBTQ+ topics. Our goal is to offer opportunities for increased communication and understanding, which may help counter myths and stereotypes, as well as give a more in-depth look at the lives of LGBTQ+ individuals. We also hope to reach out to other lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people who may want resources to utilize on and off campus.
Examples of questions people may have:
- When did you decide to come out?
- What does “genderqueer” mean?
- How can I be an ally to the LGBTQ+ community?
- What resources are available at NIU for LGBTQ+ students and allies?