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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Drop the “T”?! Saying no to Transantagonism

As the Associated Students Gender & Sexuality Equity Center celebrates being approved for a Trans Program, and gears up for our Transgender Day of Remembrance events, it seems like trans folks are winning, and that progress is being made--at least in Chico. While that may be the case, some people are coming "out of the closet" with their transphobia and transantagonism (opposition, explicit disdain or active hostility or opposition towards trans people)

Apparently, there is a push “by a (select) group of gay/bisexual men and women who have come to the conclusion that the transgender community needs to be disassociated from the larger LGB community”. The “T” within the traditional LGBTQ+ acronym represents identities that fall under the trans umbrella, which include but are not limited to: transgender, transsexual, gender non-conforming, non-binary, genderqueer, genderfuck, gender fluid, and agender.

From the cis-washing of the movie “Stonewall” to the rates in which trans women of color have been murdered, now is not the time to further marginalize trans individuals. Now is not the time to circulate such a bigoted petition. Now is the time to stand in solidarity with the trans community. Here are three ways you can help!

1)    Don’t sign the petition! The unfortunate petition can be accessed here. If you insist on clicking, I ask that you only follow the link for information on how NOT to approach/view the trans community.
2)    Check your privilege: For cisgender folks like me who live within a system that affords us privilege over trans people, we need to check our privilege and educate ourselves on some of the ways that we can stand in solidarity with trans people. On top of reading this blog, here is great way to get started! And feel free to scour the internet for other ways to be supportive to trans folks.
3)    Attend events hosted by our NEW Trans Program: The GSEC has recently been approved to create a Trans Program in addition to our already existing LGBTQ+, Women’s, & Outreach programs. While we have been hosting events to educate the larger Chico State campus and community about trans issues and identities for a couple of years now; we now officially have the capacity to have an entire program focus on trans issues. The first events officially hosted by the Trans Program, and in collaboration with Stonewall Alliance and the Transgender Task Force, are for Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) which will be taking place from November 16th-20th.
a)    Transgender Day Of Remembrance Altar
Date: Nov. 16 – Nov. 20
Location/Time: GSEC Office BMU 004 | 10 – 4pm
Description: An altar will be housed within the GSEC in remembrance of those who have lost their lives to anti-trans violence. Anyone may come and pay their respects if they wish. An activity will be held as well in conjunction with the altar.
b)    “Screaming Queens” Film + Discussion
“Screaming Queens”
Date: Wednesday Nov. 18th
Location/Time: BMU 210 | 6:30-8:30pm
Description:  A documentary about transgender women and drag queens who fought against police brutality at Compton's Cafeteria in San Francisco. After the film screening small group discussions will be held to allow everyone to have the opportunity to share their thoughts about the documentary.
c)    “Say Their Names” tabling / wall activity
Thursday Nov. 19th
Location/Time: Trinity Commons | 10 – 2pm
Description: People will have the opportunity to participate in an activity to commemorate those who have passed away. The activity will consist of building a paper candle and having the option of reading a statistic or writing your own message.
d)    Trans Stories and Panel Discussion
Thursday Nov. 19th
Location/Time: UHUB | 5:30 – 7:30
[Food and warm beverages]
Description: Stories about navigating life as a transgender person will be read out loud by people in the Chico transgender community. This will be followed by a panel focusing on transgender experiences.