Minnesota university books photo exhibit of trangender man's metamorphosis

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Published September 16, 2012

| FoxNews.com

A Minnesota college is catching heat for planning a controversial event this semester on campus in which a transgender photographer will show a series of photographs that graphically depict his transition from a woman to a man.

The University of Minnesota-Duluth will be hosting and providing a $4,000 honorarium to California-based photographer Loren Cameron for his work entitled "Transgender Images," according to non-profit education group Campus Reform. The group obtained emails from campus officials confirming the appearance.

"Mr. Cameron is being paid a flat fee of $4,000 which includes his speaker fee and all expenses," reads a message from UMD's director of human resources and equal opportunity in response to an inquiry from Campus Reform.

Another official responded to questions about the content of the presentation by only giving a date of Sept. 26 as when it will take place.

"UMD's administration has spent thousands of dollars in public resources this year to support a radical and divisive agenda," Campus Reform spokesman Josiah Ryan told FoxNews.com. "While President Lendley Black's administration's sponsorship of this sexually explicit presentation may satisfy a small minority on campus, it will surely offend many more students, alumni, and donors."

University officials responded to requests for comment with a press release describing Cameron's work and that the event was sponsored by student organization the UMD Queer Allied Student Union and that the group was the one that booked the event, using funds allotted to them by the school.

Loren Cameron began documenting his transition by taking self-portraits in 1993. Soon after he began documenting other transsexuals in the process, eventually leading to a book of his published work in 1996.

Cameron, who did not respond to requests for comment, travels to college campuses across the country displaying and speaking about his work.

The uproar on the UMD campus is not the first controversial incident this year.

Back in June, the university was a sponsor in a city-wide anti-racism initiative called the "Unfair Campaign" where many were outrage over the ads which many claimed encouraged feelings of "white guilt."

At the time, the university responded to questions of the campaign, saying that while they supported the principals of the campaign, they found the ads to be, "divisive"and questioned the "creative strategy."

"UMD expressed displeasure to the partnership that the PSAs were aired without a chance for our review," a statement from the school to FoxNews.com in June said.

"We will continue to discuss our concerns with the partnership and will require review of all future campaign materials and efforts to ensure they foster constructive dialogue and do not alienate people in our community."

The school eventually disbanded the program. Earlier this year, The University of Minnesota-Duluth also received criticism after they invited controversial speaker Tim Wise to discuss with the student body how "white privilege" is a detriment to society.

Wise has had a long history of anti-white statements, once writing in an open letter to the Tea Party, "Old white people have pretty much always been the bad guys, the keepers of the hegemonic and reactionary flame, the folks unwilling to share the category of American with others on equal terms."

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http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/09/16/questions-at-university-minnesota-duluth-after-transgender-campus-event-booked/