Letter to the Editor 2 – Issue 11

Dear Community,

Late last week, a person hiding under the anonymity of Yik Yak targeted a member of our community with a hateful, violent message that this student in particular and all transgender people should “go die.” This threatening post was the deeply regrettable culmination of transphobic posts earlier in the week. And of course it has occurred in the context of racist hate speech happening just a few days prior.

Transphobia, like other forms of oppression, is part of the campus climate that must change. These incidents and the many others that have occurred with historical continuity on our campus do not only make our students feel unsafe. They are constitutional components of an institutional and cultural environment that make our campus materially unsafe. Students of color have spoken with clarity and bravery about their fear and alienation. Female-identified students have done the same in reference to their own safety in the context of normalized sexual assault on our campus. And it is no accident that as transgender peoples have begun to forge a public presence and demand justice, they, too, have become the targets of vitriol and threat. These are the predictable if horrifying consequences of collective and individual challenges to a white supremacist, patriarchal, and intensely heteronormative set of institutional arrangements and practices at Bucknell and their reinforcement in the broader society.

The Department of Women’s and Gender Studies stands committed to work against transphobia, racism, sexism, heterosexism, and violence in its multitude of forms by means of our curricula, research, co-curricular programmatic offerings, advising and mentoring of students, and participation in the Bucknell community and other communities to which we belong.

Sincerely,

Professor Sheila Lintott, Department Chair

Martha Shaunessy, Academic Assistant

Professor Erica Delsandro

Professor Nikki Young

Professor Susan Reed

Professor Coralynn Davis

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