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Episode 7: The Always Learning Factor With Em Perper

Frederick Factor November 24, 2021 105

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Show Summary:

If you live in Frederick and frequent the Curious Iguana bookstore on the weekends, chances are that you’ve gotten a book recommendation from our guest Em Perper. The Frederick Factor team got to know Em when they led a Frederick OED Empower Program workshop. In today’s episode, Em shares their journey as a transgender nonbinary person and some of the experiences they’ve had helping to educate people about the LGBTQ community. This includes both formal workshops as well as daily experiences working in downtown Frederick.

Show Notes / Highlights from the Show:
  • How Em identifies
  • Why being well-meaning and progressive doesn’t stop a person from needing to educate themselves about nonconforming gender identities
  • Em’s Frederick journey and how they ended up being the lead bookseller at Frederick’s popular independent bookstore, Curious Iguana
  • What Em loves about Frederick and what would make it better for others
  • How the pandemic created an atmosphere to explore gender identity and sexual orientation (and which popular TikTok resulted from it)
  • Em’s experiences around people who make derogatory statements about the use of nonconforming pronouns and how they respond
  • How to know which pronouns to use if someone refers to themselves with multiple pronouns
  • Em’s Frederick Factor
Guest Bio:

Em Perper (they/them) is the lead bookseller at Curious Iguana, downtown Frederick’s independent bookstore. For five years, they served on the board of directors of The Frederick Center, which supports and advocates for Frederick’s LGBTQIA+ community. They’re passionate about creating queer-inclusive environments for folks who work, live, and visit Frederick.

Show Links:

Curious Iguana Bookstore

Here are some of Em’s LGBTQ book recommendations:

  • The Pronoun Lowdown by Nevo Zisin
  •  How to They/Them by Stuart Getty
  • A Quick & Easy Guide to They/Them Pronouns by Archie Bongiovanni and Tristan Jimerson
  • Queerstory: An Infographic History of the Fight for LGBTQ+ Rights by Rebecca Strickson
  • A Queer History of the United States by Michael Bronski
  • Transgender History by Susan Stryker
  • Trans Like Me: Conversations for All of Us by CN Lester
  • Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Trans (But Were Afraid to Ask) by Brynn Tannehill

You can find or order these books at Curious Iguana (12. N. Market St. & info@curiousiguana.com) or on Bookshop.org, a wonderful alternative to Amazon.

For a full transcript of the episode, click here:

Frederick Factor – The Always Learning Factor

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