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Malcolm Ribot, the FTM Traveler, visits ISU’s LGBT/Q Institute

image of Malcolm Ribot (left) and Illinois State student Nay Petrucelli

Malcolm Ribot (left) and Illinois State student Nay Petrucelli

A popular Instagrammer in the trans community made a stop at ISU’s LGBT/Queer Studies and Services Institute on Saturday, January 16.

Malcolm Ribot and his dog have driven over 20,000 miles throughout the country, spreading a positive image of transgender men. The profile picture on his Facebook travel page boasts a photo of him and a map with a thin black line, tracing the perimeter of the country and showing the states that he has already travelled. His stated mission is to meet and build community between trans men in every state.

Ribot and ISU graduate student Nay Petrucelli met at the Institute to discuss his travels, what he does to keep himself entertained on long car rides, and how he has managed to self-fund more than seven months of travel (with many more to go). His reserved demeanor fades when he starts talking about the connections he has made. With a wide smile, he pulls out his phone and scrolls through an endless list of names. This list is of just the guys he has met so far. What had begun as a short-term contingency plan had blossomed into a full-time mission and movement.

After a tour of the Institute and a conversation, Petrucelli and Ribot jumped into his car to headed to Champaign-Urbana, the next stop on his list. Before leaving, he logged the day’s work in his phone and responds to the messages he received while exploring Uptown. With a few taps he answered questions about that night’s dinner plans and responded to requests for visits in other parts of the country. He then flipped his phone to his GPS and turned his attention to the journey ahead.

To follow Ribot’s journey, follow him at @gorillashrimp on Instagram or Malcolm Ribot- FTM Traveler on Facebook. 

ISU’s LGBT Institute currently houses over 1,000 volumes of books and media. To learn more about the events and hours of the Institute, “Like” the “LGBT/Queer Studies and Services Institute” on Facebook.

 Transgender-Identified students interested in joining ISU’s trans group should email Nay at rpetruc@ilstu.edu.

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