Community dinner gives trans* issues visibility

Kirsten Wessel, Contributing Writer

This month’s community dinner, entitled Trans* Visible, took place on Oct. 21 and sought to leave students with a greater understanding of the trans* community and the issues they face on the University’s campus and beyond.

Following the threatening transphobic posts on Yik Yak last semester and the ensuing student response, it became clear that the issue of transphobia on campus needed to be addressed by students and faculty.

“I wish more people would come out of their comfort zone to broaden their views on differences like this. It is so important that we all, as a society within and outside of the Bucknell campus realize that regardless of our differences (our individual uniqueness), we are all human,” Jacee Almond ’17 said.

Trans* rights are often overlooked in talks of politics and social justice. The Trans* Visible dinner’s conversation facilitators asked pointed questions to encourage students and community members to move out of their comfort zones, in order to think about the issue from a broader, more insightful perspective and to work together toward better inclusion for all gender identities.

Topics of discussion at the community dinner included the meaning of “transgender” and a brief introduction to appropriate use of LGBTQ+ terms, different forms of discrimination faced by the trans* community on campus and worldwide, and how the portrayal of trans* people in popular media differs from reality.

“We should praise uniqueness, like different genders, sexualities, ethnicities, etc. in a world which is much more accepting of the cookie cutter majority,” Almond said. “Everyone deserves a lifestyle in which they feel as if they can be themselves.”

Ending the dinner on a positive note, conversation facilitators asked the students and community members to write down ideas for improvement for both students and University administration. Suggestions for students and faculty included asking peers their preferred gender pronouns and discouraging hateful, discriminatory comments in group as well as one-on-one conversations.

If you are interested in becoming an Ally, Gender & Sexuality Alliance meetings take place Tuesdays at 8 p.m. in the Walls Lounge.

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