Proudly supported by vanity fair

Newsletter

Receive regular updates about forthcoming events and other news from Intelligence Squared

Thanks

You have been added to our mailing list and will now be among the first to hear about events.

Thursday 20 June 2019

Born This Way: Talking Transgender Truths

History &
Social Policy

What do we mean when we use the words ‘male’ and ‘female’? Are these binary terms still relevant in today’s world, where an increasing number of people, especially among the young, refuse to be boxed in by such categories? Is it time we threw these categories out, along with their dated stereotypes, and instead called for a radical rethinking of gender altogether?

Opinions differ: many experts believe there is no such thing as a ‘male’ or ‘female’ brain. Instead, they argue, it is socialisation – how we are brought up and the culture we live in – that determines our gendered identity. And yet, gender still seems to exert its power: take binary transgender women like Caitlyn Jenner, who has said that she always felt she ‘possessed a female brain, heart and soul’. This would suggest that gender is something deeply subjective, an innate feeling that one just is a woman or a man. Others, meanwhile, feel that that they have never truly aligned with one gender, or that they are neither male nor female altogether.

In this special Intelligence Squared event, we bring together celebrated trans activist and model Munroe Bergdorf, writer and and drag performer Tom Rasmussen and spoken word poet Kai-Isaiah Jamal, whose work focuses on his trans, black and queer identity. With author and Dazed journalist Amelia Abraham in the chair, we will explore the panel’s broadly differing experiences around gender, ask whether they can be reconciled, and whether they even need to be.

Join us on June 20th for a rich and inspiring conversation.

 

Munroe Bergdorf photo © Luke Nugent.

Event Name

Born This Way: Talking Transgender Truths


Choose Tickets

Speakers
  • Munroe Bergdorf

    Transgender activist and model

  • Kai-Isaiah Jamal

    Spoken word poet, writer, model and trans visibility activist

  • Tom Rasmussen

    Journalist and author of 'Diary of a Drag Queen'

Chair
  • Amelia Abraham

    Journalist whose work focuses on LGBTQ+ identity politics

 

Speakers are subject to change.


Location
  • Emmanuel Centre
  • 9-23 Marsham Street
  • London
  • SW1P 3DW
Time
  • Thursday 20 June 2019
  • 7pm to 8:30pm



Speakers

Speakers

Munroe Bergdorf

Transgender activist and model


Transgender activist and model, known for her insight into diversity and the LGBTQ+ community. Bergdorf regularly appears on television news to comment on race, diversity, gender and LGBTQ+ topics and writes for publications including Grazia, i- D, them.us, Paper magazine, The Evening Standard, The Guardian, Stylist magazine and The Sunday Times Style. She is also the newly appointed LGBTQ+ editor for Dazed Beauty and was part of this year’s OUT 100.

Kai-Isaiah Jamal

Spoken word poet, writer, model and trans visibility activist


Spoken word poet, writer, model and trans visibility activist who uses language and narration to give a voice to the unrepresented and misrepresented, prioritising queer black voices, specifically trans men of colour. In addition, Jamal works with brands and institutions to build platforms and better representation of his community. These include Dazed, Broadly, Tate Exchange, Stella McCartney and The Barbican. Jamal has also just been announced as the ICA's first ever poet in residence.

Tom Rasmussen

Journalist and author of 'Diary of a Drag Queen'


Author of Diary of a Drag Queen, which was described as ‘a heartfelt memoir of queerness and non-conformity’ by Vogue. Rasmussen identifies as non-binary and their preferred pronoun is ‘they’. They are contributing editor at Dazed Beauty, Refinery29 and LOVE magazine. Their work has been published in The Independent, The Observer, i-D and SHOWStudio. They are a drag performer and singer, and have performed two sold-out runs in Edinburgh and at the Soho Theatre with their drag band DENIM.
Chair

Amelia Abraham

Journalist whose work focuses on LGBTQ+ identity politics


Journalist whose work focuses on LGBTQ+ identity politics. She has written on or around this topic for The Guardian, The Observer, The Independent, The Sunday Times, The New Statesman, ES magazine, VICE, i-D magazine and Dazed. She also writes about feminist issues, human-rights issues, health policy, arts and culture, and sex. Her first book is Queer Intentions: A (Personal) Journey Through LGBTQ+ Culture.

 

Speakers are subject to change.