On Wednesday March 15th, Beckman Hall Room 404 was fully packed with Chapman University students, faculty and staff, all eagerly awaiting the presentation from transgender mother Jessica Lynn. Crean College of Health and Behavioral Sciences partnered with the Psychology Department to sponsor Jessica Lynn’s presentation on a transgender mother’s struggles and challenges with parental rights.

The majority of members of the audience listening to Jessica’s presentation had never heard of her up until this point, but left the session feeling incredibly moved and passionate about becoming advocates in their community. Jessica Lynn left several people speechless, including undergraduate Psychology senior Yasmin Akbari: “Not only is Jessica a naturally engaging speaker, but her story is so moving that I could not help but be overcome with emotion as I listened. To witness someone who has endured so much hardship over the course of her life and speak so openly about the plights and injustices that she has faced as a transgender woman was truly remarkable.”

Some members of the audience included undergraduate and graduate students of Crean College of Health and Behavioral Sciences, College of Educational Studies, School of Communication and more. Sara Kong, a MA in School Counseling student commented on the fact that after listening to Jessica’s presentation she gained insight into how difficult transitioning can be and how costly the process is. “I learned about how difficult identifying as an LGBTQ individual can be and what it means in relation to others”.

Other students took different take away messages from this presentation that encouraged them to become advocates in their own community and professional careers. MA Marriage and Family Therapy student, Heather Beeson, stated “The message I took away is the need for more activism. I am training to become a Marriage and Family Therapist and will be continuing on to attain my doctorate. My doctorate will focus on program development and implementation. I know I want to work with the LGBTQQIA community, especially providing couples and family therapy.”

Jessica Lynn is a phenomenal speaker and the students, faculty and staff who attended this lecture were incredibly  moved and left this presentation being armed with the truth of the struggles many transgender women, such as Jessica, have to endure in today’s society.