The Always Learning Factor With Em Perper

Frederick Factor

Nov 24 2021 • 42 mins

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

  • 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.

About the Frederick Factor:

The Frederick Factor Podcast highlights the stories of underrepresented business owners, professionals, and community leaders making an impact in Frederick, Maryland. You can visit our website at https://frederickfactor.com/. Or, follow the Frederick Factor on: