By KYRA DAHRING, Staff Reporter
November is transgender awareness month and the Office for Student Engagement (OSE) is hosting multiple events with the hope of showing to students and faculty that transgender people do exist.
“A lot of college campuses believe transgenders are similar to a unicorn,” said Cailynn Smith, the coordinator for LGBTQ and Inclusion Initiative at the OSE. “They don’t believe they exist, or they do at a low frequency.”
At the beginning of the month, OSE had events that showed how trans icons in the media have affected the transgender movement.
Smith said the media plays a crucial role in how the society views transgender people.
“There’s not one vignette or narrative of what a trans person is like,” said Smith. “Everyone lives multi-layer lives, so really this is trying to show people that for the transgender community there’s a lot of different struggles and issues at play.”
There was also an event that discussed transgendered issues within the military and a transgender workshop.
“We’re talking about the military, we’re talking about the media, we’re showing the healthcare aspect, as well.”
“I tried to touch on a variety of things so then it shows trans people obviously live multi-layered lives like everyone else and that there’s more to them than just being trans,” Smith said.
There are four awareness events left for this month.
On Tuesday, Nov. 17 from 1:00-3:00 p.m. in 1225 UC, the movie Two Spirits will be shown. The movie is about the murder of Fred Martinez, an American Indian transgender teenager.
On Thursday, Nov. 19 from 7-9:30 p.m. the Transgender Day of Remembrance will be held in Kochoff Hall B.
During this event students will honor the transgender people that died during the year of 2015. This list states the person’s name, age, hometown, and how they were killed. Smith said this is a very emotional event, but helps bring awareness that people are murdered for showing their true selves.
Two transgender history book discussions will be held. Students, faculty and staff can stop by the InCLUDE — room 2122 in the UC — to get a free copy of the book Transgender History by Susan Stryker.
There will be two book discussions. The first will be held on Nov. 18 at 6:00 p.m. in the UC room 1227, and the second on Nov. 24 at 2 p.m. in the UC room 1225.
Smith said increased transgender awareness and advocacy in recent years has led to the public being not only more tolerant, but more accepted.
“I think everyone in general… wants to be who they are and show the world that,” Smith said.