Jason G'Sell '12

Author: Andrea Martinez Dominguez

Jason G'Sell

Graduation year: 2012

Majors/Minors: Sociology major, Gender Studies minor


As a sophomore, my boyfriend at the time had declared a gender studies minor and talked about it incessantly. At first, I had no idea what he was talking about. As an acting major, he was constantly discussing the performative aspect of gender and the use of gender and sexuality in theatre. My initial confusion, however, quickly turned into intrigue as he attempted to explain Butlerian theory to me. The next summer I did an SSLP in San Francisco and was taken aback by the often outrageous displays of gender that seem to only take place in such a vibrant, technicolor city. For the first time, I felt free to express my gender however I wanted and my style became increasingly androgynous. My collection of "man bags" also significantly expanded. Despite having been out for two years, I was initially overwhelmed by the sheer number of gay people around me. It was bizarre how normal homosexuality was. Furthermore, it was the first time I had worked with transgender clients and really developed friendships with trans individuals. After this experience, I felt like I had to learn more about gender and sexuality. All of my preconceptions of what a man or woman was were questioned in those three months and I was desperate for answers. Following the SSLP, I declared as a gender studies minor. It is my goal to eventually pursue a doctorate in sociology and to perform sociological research. I am certain that I will never lose my passion for issues of gender and sexuality and I hope to incorporate them into my future research and teaching.