Ro Walker Mills
In high school, Ro was aware that he was attracted to girls but it was only in University that he came into his full identity as a transgender man.
Growing up as a female, Ro played elite-level basketball, which earned him a scholarship to University of Winnipeg, where he graduated with a BA (Hon) in Psychology and was involved in student government.
As a hip hop artist, Ro has built up a large following on Youtube and Facebook and has used his platform to educate and resource others in the trans community. His latest advocacy work is “Right to Pee”; an awareness campaign directed at the need for gender-neutral bathrooms.
A well-known and respected advocate in the community, Ro has presented at the Human Rights Museum and in Parliament regarding trans inclusion in Manitoba. He has been invited to participate in the National Human Library Project and has spoken at Dakota Collegiate and Churchill High School. He has been involved in Pride and QPOC (Queer People of Color) and has given several interviews on radio, TV and print. This includes a special feature in the Winnipeg Free Press (2015) as well as a focused interview with Sook Yin Lee on Definitely Not the Opera (2013).
Ro Walker is an engaging and dynamic speaker who can offer guidance and support to people wanting to be educated in the areas of gender identity, bullying and personal acceptance.
He relates well to junior and high school-aged students as well as school staff members.
All of his talks include multi-media, personal stories and relevant information. As a hip-hop and spoken word artist, Ro Walker is also available as a performer.
- Junior and High School students
Based on his own experiences as a bit of an “outlier” in high school, Ro brings a message of self-love and acceptance. The focus of this talk is on each person’s ability to make choices about how they define themselves and live authentically. This includes learning to excel at personal strengths and manage areas of need. Ro discusses how to deal with bullies and people who cheat on or diminish others and encourages everyone to look out for ways that they can celebrate diversity, develop pride and have a part in making other people feel included.
- Teachers and Guidance Counsellors
There has been a big focus on bullying in the last several years, but there is still awareness needed in the subtle or covert ways that people who are LGBT* are diminished. Though no teacher or staff member would intentionally bully a student, misreading the context for trans students might actually be experienced as bullying. Ro covers a variety of topics including language, pronoun use, safe spaces and mental health to demonstrate how a deeper understanding of the trans experience can benefit students who are struggling with gender identity.
- Either students or school staff
Many people have a desire to be accepting and respectful with their language, but don’t have experience with the trans community and may inadvertently be unhelpful. In this talk, Ro covers frequently asked questions and areas of confusion including:
- Gender identity vs. sexual orientation
- How gender expression, orientation, identity and hormones work together to create personal identity
- The need for consent and boundaries in self-disclosure and relationships
- Questions that are fair vs. questions that are inappropriate
- What does being an ally look like?
For further information about Ro’s services or Education Solutions Manitoba, contact us.