Nov. 6: WSU Tri-Cities to host panel focusing on LGBT issues

By Maegan Murray, WSU Tri-Cities

RICHLAND, Wash. – A free, public panel discussion to broaden awareness and educate about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues will be 1-3 p.m. Friday, Nov. 6, in the West Atrium of Washington State University Tri-Cities.

“Much of education entails becoming aware of things that we do not know,” said Mark Mansperger, clinical associate professor of anthropology. “When people better understand individuals who differ from themselves, they tend to be more accepting and compassionate.”

The panel is presented in conjunction with the Anthropology 395 course “Contemporary Human Issues,” taught by Mansperger.

The panel will include speakers who affiliate with or advocate for the LGBT community:

• Anna Southern is a biologist, anthropologist and transgender woman.

• Jefferson Coulter is senior attorney with the Pasco office of the Northwest Justice Project and on the board of directors for the QLaw Foundation, which educates the public and courts about LGBT legal issues.

• Cat Wesley is a history teacher and lesbian woman active with Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG).

• Rev. Keri Lobdell is president of the local PFLAG chapter, a member of the Progressive Christian Alliance, a retention counselor and advisor for TRiO student support services at WSU Tri-Cities and has been a straight ally for more than six years.

In 2014, WSU was rated in the “Top 50 LGBT-Friendly Colleges and Universities” by Campus Pride, a nonprofit organization dedicated to making colleges and universities safer, more inclusive spaces for LGBT individuals.


Maegan Murray, WSU Tri-Cities public relations specialist, 509-372-7333,