Last month several suicides of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) youth upset the nation. To raise awareness for issues regarding transgender people, the LGBT Resource Center is putting on the annual Trans Action Week.
The issues that surround the LGBT community often go unrecognized, Sheri Atkinson, director of the LGBTRC said in an e-mail interview. This celebration for the transgender community will begin on Nov. 15 and last through Nov. 19.
“I believe there is a general lack of knowledge around issues that impact transgender and genderqueer people,” Atkinson said. “Trans Action Week is a great opportunity to learn more.”
The first event of the week is Genderpalooza, which takes place Monday at 11 a.m. out on the Memorial Union patio. The events going on throughout the week are designed to explore gender identities and educate people on issues that transgender people struggle with. The week concludes at 5 p.m. on Friday with a memorial for those who have been killed due to anti-transgender hatred and prejudice.
Cory Dostie, coordinator for Trans Action Week, welcomes everyone to attend the events, but certain events will be catered toward people who are looking for resources specific to the trans community.
“It’s really important for trans folk to have a sense of, ‘there’s more than just me,’ so they can find a community, learn about their identities and learn about other people who are similar,” Dostie said. “It’s about support and affirmation.”
Trans Action Week is one of many programs that the LGBTRC has to offer for LGBT students and anyone else who wants to learn about all genders and sexualities. “Trans people on campus are really invisible and no one tends to think about the issues that they face,” Dostie said.
Many marginalized communities experience struggles everyday that go unrecognized. It is important to address negative comments that we hear on campus and always be educating ourselves further, Atkinson said.
The LGBTRC is open for any students struggling with their gender or sexual identity.
“For me the best resources at the center for understanding my own gender and sexuality as well as getting help with my issues have been the people that I have met and the conversations that I have had,” said Laura Thatcher, a community intern at the LGBTRC. “I know that there are people who understand my struggles. [LGBTRC] is a space that I can be myself all of the time.”
Dostie encouraged those struggling with their sexual or gender identity to come to the center.
“The most important thing is to get some help from people who are in a similar boat and the resource center is a great place to get some help,” Dostie said.
Trans Action Week is focused on helping students understand their gender identity and to further educate the campus community on the struggles that transgender people encounter.
Collaborators for Trans Action Week include ASUCD, Counseling And Psychological Services (CAPS), Gender Group, Lambda Law, Office of Campus and Community Relations (OCCR), Queer, Feminist and Transgender Studies Research Cluster, Sacramento Transgender Coalition, Student Health Services and Unitarian Universalist Church of Davis. More information about Trans Action Week and the LGBTRC can be found at lgbcenter.ucdavis.edu.
MICHELLE MURPHY can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.