Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies undergraduate, Debra Beight is dual majoring in Communication and WGSS with a minor in Sexuality Studies with the intention of pursuing an MPH in Public Health. Her main research interests involve women’s reproductive health, LGBTQ individuals and the media, and safe-sex practice representations in pornography. She is also a valuable member of the WGSS office team.
She will be presenting her most recent work at Ohio University’s Second Annual Queer Studies conference on April 11th. Her paper is called “Transgender Misrepresentations in the Paratexts of Motion Pictures: Masking the Authenticity of the Transgender Experience in TransAmerica and Boys Don’t Cry.” In it Debra deconstructs the promotional materials for the two films to identify the ways in which there is an attempt to normalize the transgender experience but at the compromise of an authentic transgender narrative. This summer she will be working with the Sociology department in a research project that examines gender inequality in hiring processes across various blue and white collar job markets.
Through the School of Communication, Debra is the 2014/2015 recipient of the Marcy Hill Memorial Scholarship and through the WGSS department she has been awarded the Robin Wiehm Writing Award as well as the Mildred Munday Scholarship.
Debra is in training to become a master sexpert with the Student Health Center and is also a member of the OSU chapters of the National Society of Leadership and Success, National Society of Collegiate Scholars and is the incoming president of Triota, the WGSS honor society. Off campus she has worked as an intern and a volunteer with both NARAL and Planned Parenthood and is a support group facilitator for the Columbus chapter of The Straight Spouse Network.