CENTER VALLEY, Pa. — Liz K. Kleintop, economics and business professor at Moravian College, visited Penn State Lehigh Valley on Oct. 12 to speak to students, faculty and staff during National Coming Out Week. Her 60-minute presentation offered those in the campus community insight, facts and personal experience as someone belonging to the LGBT community. Her presentation highlighted her personal journey in the LGBT community as well as her growth since coming out.
“Being a male to female transgender had been a hard transition to make, but when I finally came out 26 years later, I knew I made the right decision,” Kleintop said. “I want those struggling with gender identity to feel comfortable in their own skin and have the opportunity to find someone who listens.”
Through the lifestyle and adventures shared by Kleintop, students, faculty and staff were given insight into what life may be like for someone who is transgender. Those in attendance were able to ask questions to better understand the LGBT community. Kleintop openly shared her story about coming out, the transition from male to female, and her different coping mechanisms.
“I hope our faculty, staff and students enjoyed and found Liz Kleintop’s presentation informative. We need to be aware that we all know someone in the LGBT community, and sometimes if we just listen instead of judge, we see what others may not,” said Kelley Schlie, LGBT program coordinator at Penn State Lehigh Valley. “I would love for students, faculty and staff to show a positive attitude, generosity and open mind to becoming an ally on the Penn State Lehigh Valley campus.”
“If you know someone struggling or concerned about their identity, remember we all have an identity that defines us. We are all human and are all created equally,” said Kleintop.
“All In at Penn State” is an ongoing University-wide initiative that brings students, faculty and staff together to show their commitment to cultivating a diverse and inclusive environment — respectful of everyone regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, age, sexual orientation, abilities, background, veteran’s status, political beliefs.
Events at the Lehigh Valley campus throughout the year supporting "All In" include LGBT Spirit Day on Oct. 20; Food and Entrepreneurship Series dinners; Native American Heritage Month in November; Veterans Day on Nov. 11; MLK Day of Service on Jan. 16; Black History Month in February; and more. The “All In” calendar is available online at http://equity.psu.edu/allin-calendar.