Chatham News

Transgender writer, director, producer, and activist to speak at Chatham University in celebration of GLBTIQ Awareness Month

PITTSBURGH (September 12, 2012) … Transgender writer, director, producer, and activist Andrea James will speak at Chatham at 7 p.m. on October 17 in celebration of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, and Queer (GLBTIQ) Awareness Month. The free public event will be held in Eddy Theater on Chatham’s Shadyside Campus.

James will discuss improving relationships between the feminist movement and the trans community through the media, and the ways in which gender roles are reinforced to the extent that they seem “natural” to many people and how this institutionalized sexism affects all of us. She will also discuss using the media for social justice by discussing the reasoning and techniques employed in some of her own media messaging, with an eye toward getting students to think about producing their own content.

After graduating with a Master’s Degree in English from University of Chicago, James wrote ads for ten years at top Chicago agencies. Her ads for top clients premiered on the Super Bowl and other major television events and were frequently among audience favorites.

In 2003, she co-founded Deep Stealth Productions with the goal to counter the dismal depiction of trans people in the media with more accurate and positive portrayals. James produced Deep Stealth’s sold-out V-Day 2004 Worldwide Campaign event in Los Angeles, which was a benefit performance of “The Vagina Monologues” under the direct guidance of playwright Eve Ensler and mentor Jane Fonda. The event, which included the first-ever transgender cast of “The Vagina Monologues,” was featured in the documentary “Beautiful Daughters.”

James stars in the popular instructional video, “Finding Your Female Voice,” and her work as a voice coach for trans women led to consulting with star Felicity Huffman for the feature film Transamerica. James has made numerous film and television appearances, including, “The Big Idea” with Donny Deutsch, “The Insider” with Pat O’Brien, and the documentary “Middle Sexes”.

“This event is a great opportunity for Chatham students to understand their roles as allies for the GLBTIQ community and how their voices can be heard through the use of media,” says Sean McGreevey, assistant dean of students. “Andrea James stands as a prime example of how people can bridge their educational background with their passion areas to create a meaningful career that also affects change within a community.”

Andrea has worked as an activist since the 1990s. She founded GenderMedia Foundation and serves on the Board of Directors for TransYouth Family Allies, a non-profit that helps minors and their families with issues related to gender identity and expression. In 2008 she joined the Board of Directors for Outfest. Outfest protects our past, showcases our present and nurtures our future by fostering artistic expression of gender, sexuality and LGBTQ culture and its transformative social impact on the world.

About Chatham University
Chatham University, founded in 1869, is located in the vibrant Shadyside neighborhood of Pittsburgh, PA. Preparing students from around the world, Chatham’s enrollment throughout the past decade was the fastest growing in the Pittsburgh region.

Consisting of an undergraduate women’s college and graduate and online programs for both men and women, Chatham has consistently been ranked among the top master’s level institutions in the Northeast by U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review. Offering challenging academics and innovative programming in the fields of sustainability and the environment, the health sciences, and business & entrepreneurship, a Chatham education is designed to meet the needs of tomorrow’s economy, today.

Chatham has also demonstrated institutional commitments to reach carbon neutrality by 2025 and has been recognized as a leader in sustainability by The Princeton Review, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the League of American Bicyclists, and Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future. For more information, call 800-837-1290 or visit