I hate talking on the phone, and so I was nervous to call Meredith Talusan: You get the impression from her social media feed, and from accounts of the recent events at the Telluride Branch at Cornell University, that she might be one of those people who gets wrapped up in their outrage and is hard to hold a conversation with.
Social media feeds are a series of monologues, though. In dialogue, Meredith is calm, personable, and pleasant, albeit also outraged, and also deeply hurt.
The Telluride Branch at Cornell is part of the Telluride Association, a not-for-profit organization that provides housing for students. The Telluride Branches are democratically managed by the residents. The Telluride website says that the Branches are meant to “foster an everyday synthesis of self-governance and intellectual inquiry that enables students to develop their potential for leadership and public service.” So, bottom line is, it’s cooperative housing with room and board scholarships as well as opportunities for academic and service scholarships for Cornell graduate students.
Meredith is the Cornell Branch Telluride Association’s first openly transgender resident at a Telluride Branch. She came out earlier this year. By her account, shortly thereafter, another resident at the house — whom I’ll refer to as X, as Meredith did in her original account of the events — started making extraordinarily transphobic statements to her, like “You’re a man in a dress,” or “You lost your dick.” Keep reading »