Houston, TX – Nikki Araguz is not a new name to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. Her battle with the state of Texas, after the untimely death of her firefighter husband, made national headlines.
Now a student at Houston Community College, Nikki faces different challenges, dealing with a professor who spreads misinformation about HIV/AIDs and what it is to be transgender. She writes about her experiences with Dr. Janice Greco in an official complaint to HCC.
The full complaint reads:
The morning of my final Dec. 11, 2012 In my Human Sexuality class at HCC Town & Country campus my Professor Dr. Janice Grecco took a final blow at me with her uneducated and ignorantly egregious attack on Transsexual and Intersex people ( more directly ME) and not only did she inform people that you can get HIV from kissing (while knowing I am HIV +) during the first month of class, and telling stories of how transgender people are really just gay men who can’t handle being gay and they feel it is easier to change genders and they chose to “mutilate their bodies and the resulting vagina neither looks nor works like a real woman’s vagina” I then spoke out and said that is hardly the truth, that I am a living experience of the situation Dr. Grecco was very defensive when I began to challenge the information she was presenting to the class as inaccurate. . This all took place on November 8 when a fellow student took part in making charges at transgender people and defending the teachers remarks. Stacy Holt sent me an apology n a private message on facebook after she knew I had been verbally attacked by Dr. Grecco’s comments and remarks regarding HIV + and Transgender people. After the class on November 8 I reported the issue to Tomi Middleton and asked to be contacted by Dr.. Hsu but was told I needed to deal with Dr. Grecco.Dr. Grecco added her final blow on Dec 11. by forcing me to answer the definition of the word Transsexual with the only available answer , “He likes being a girl”. I finished my test ( the first in the class) and as I turned it in to her she grab my wrist and said “What did you think about the test questions, more specifically the first section?” and I replied, ” I wrote my response and made a remark on my paper, Please get better educated and current on your knowledge specifically with Transgender issues.” and her final remark to me was ” Nikki, come back and see me here when I return in January.” ……… I went immediately to the Department heads office and spoke with Tomi Middleton, for the second time this semester, and she told me I needed to go back to the Professor and I said I had already tried to communicate with her multiple times and have gotten nothing but more attacks. Mrs. Middleton then informed me ” At one time we were told that you could get HIV from kissing” to which I replied, ” There has never been one medically reported case of saliva (kissing) transmission.” Mrs. Middleton then referred me to meet with David Cross at HCC headquarters. I was VERY UPSET and cried several times this following the exam that I am certain I passed although I was not able to take my test out of the room or copy it. So Dr. Grecco holds my exam and I have asked for a copy of it.
I am requesting a written apology and ongoing education and sensitivity training for Dr. Grecco as well as her being released from teaching Human Sexuality.