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Baker A. Rogers  

Associate Professor of Sociology & Author

Baker A. Rogers is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Georgia Southern University. They hold a Ph.D. in Sociology from Mississippi State University and a Master of Social Work from Winthrop University. Their research focuses on inequality, specifically examining the intersections of gender, sexuality, and religion in the Southeastern United States.

Baker has published two books, Conditionally Accepted: Christians’ Perspectives on Sexuality and Gay and Lesbian Civil Rights (Rutgers University Press 2019) and Trans Men in the South: Becoming Men (Lexington Books 2020). Their forthcoming book, King of Hearts: Drag Kings in the Southeastern United States, is under contract with Rutgers University Press. Baker is also completing two textbook projects, a reader titled, Gender and Sexuality in the Southern United States (Cognella Forthcoming), and a textbook titled, A Teacher’s Guide to Gender and Sexual Identity: Supporting Diversity, Inclusivity, and Equity in Our Schools (Co-Authors Marni Brown and Martha Caldwell – Under Contract with Routledge). Baker’s academic articles are published in Gender & Society; Men and Masculinities; Journal of Interpersonal Violence; Qualitative Sociology; Sociological Spectrum; Sociological Inquiry; International Journal of Transgenderism; Sexualities; Review of Religious Research; International Journal of Social Research Methodology; and Feminist Teacher.

Baker strives to be a public sociologist and has also published blogs and op-eds, as well as had their work featured in the media, through various outlets including, Ms. Magazine, Feminist Reflections, and MEL Magazine. As part of their public sociology, Baker has a number of prepared lectures and is always happy to prepare new ones for events to highlight the social science of gender, sexuality, and religion.

Speech Topics

“Some of My Best Friends are Gay”: The Influence of Social Contact on Queer Rights

In this lecture, I examine Mississippi Christians’ beliefs about homosexuality and gay and lesbian civil rights and whether having a gay or lesbian friend or family member influences those beliefs. Beliefs about homosexuality and gay and lesbian rights vary widely based on religious affiliation. Despite having gay or lesbian friends or family members, evangelical Protestants believe homosexuality is sinful and oppose gay and lesbian rights. Mainline Protestants are largely supportive of gay and lesbian rights and become more supportive after getting to know gay and lesbian people. Catholics describe a greater degree of uncertainty and a conditional acceptance of gay and lesbian rights; clear differences between conservative and liberal Catholics are evident. Overall, conservative Christians, both evangelical Protestants and conservative Catholics, hold a religious identity that overshadows their relationships with gay and lesbian friends or family. Conservative religion acts as a deterrent to the positive benefits of relationships with gay and lesbian people.

Welcome to the Danger Zone: Trans Equality in the Southeastern US

Although LGBTQ+ people have experienced increased acceptance and visibility over the past decade, the Southeastern US continues to lag behind the rest of the country in terms of supporting LGBTQ+ people. Nevertheless, over a third of all queer people in the U.S. live in the Southeast. Overall, the South is a unique geographic location, both in reality and in the national imagination. In this talk, I focus on trans lives and experiences in the Southeastern US. I examine trans peoples’ ability to receive equal rights and resources, and how these are still influenced by oppression and discrimination. I discuss why we must look to the Southeastern US in order to understand trans people in the US and continue to fight for trans equality. This lecture can be tailored to focus on a specific state or states in the region.

Conditionally Accepted: Coming Out in the Southeastern US

In this lecture, I discuss coming out in the Southeastern US. Using my own personal experiences, along with data from 40 interviews with Mississippi Christians from my book, Conditionally Accepted: Christians’ Perspectives on Homosexuality and Gay and Lesbian Civil Rights, I discuss how coming out helps sometimes, but can also be harmful. This talk is good for National Coming Out Day in October, or generally for thinking about the nuances of coming out.

Becoming Men: Trans Men in the Southeastern United States

In this lecture, I discuss what it means to be a trans man in the Southeastern United States. Using interviews with 51 trans men across the region, I show how the common themes that pervade trans men’s experiences in the South are complicated by other intersecting identities, such as sexuality, religion, race, class, and place. This talk explores the intersectionalities of a group of people who are often invisible, by choice or necessity, in broader culture. The talk engages with debates about trans experiences of masculinity, ‘passing,’ and discrimination within LGTBQ spaces in order to provide a comprehensive overview of trans men’s experiences in the region.

Drag Kings: Exploring the World of Drag in the Southeastern US

Drag kinging is an entertaining and exciting avenue to explore gender. In this lecture, I provide an overview of drag kinging in the Southeastern US and explore what this tells us about gender in this region of the country. Using interviews with 60 drag kings across the region, as well as autoethnographic material from my own time performing drag as Macon Love, I will take you on a journey with me through drag kinging in the South. Through a mixture of storytelling, social scientific analysis, personal experience, and voices from an often-invisible community, you are invited to enter the world of drag in the Southeastern United States.

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