By Marie Vassey
CCC Journalism Program
BLACKWOOD – Nature vs. Nurture vs. None of the Above, a mini-course covering everything from homosexuality to twins to sex, concluded Dec. 3 at Camden County College.
The five-week course ended with a session called Transsexuals/Transgenders: My Happiest Patients … At Last” in Madison Hall on the Blackwood campus, saving what Professor Tom DelGiorno Jr., M.D. considered “the best for last.” The session drew a small but interested and involved crowd.
DelGiorno, who teaches both Anatomy and Physiology I at CCC, dealt mainly with transgendered patients while in practice, calling them his “happiest patients” (hence the session’s title). DelGiorno provided attendees with packets full of information, saying it took him almost nine months to prepare for the course.
With so much information and only five sessions to present it all, DelGiorno said choosing material was “really, really tough. I try to present what I think is the most important information.”
After briefing the class on what was going to be covered, DelGiorno began to share stories of his experiences while in practice. DelGiorno shared the story of one of his patients, Paige, a transgendered woman whom he described as “cuter than that pinhead Justin Bieber.”
DelGiorno worked with 80 to 90 transgendered patients while in practice and said he still is in contact with many of them. He showed the class photos of him at the weddings of some of his patients.
DelGiorno wanted participants at the session to realize like homosexuality, being a transgendered man or woman is not a choice. “These patients weren’t getting what I consider to be mutilating surgery just to prove a point. There had to be something more to it,” DelGiorno said.
Attendee John F. McCourt said, “What interested me most is that there isn’t a choice. I had always been taught that homosexuality and transgendered people were suffering from spiritual confusion.”
The three attendees at the session were teachers at a New Jersey state school for mental and behavioral health, all of whom took the course to further their education about the subjects covered during the course to improve as instructors. Elizabeth Adams, who attended every session, said she took the course because, “I want to be able to listen to my students without my jaw dropping.”
DelGiorno plans to teach Nature vs. Nurture vs. None of the Above again during the summer.