Nov. 12, 2013 marked the first Trans 101 workshop in a year-long series put on by the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Questioning Resource Center.
The series is led and organized by Sam Crenshaw, trans outreach coordinator. Student leadership was united in their vision to educate their peers, staff,
faculty and other
cisgender people on
campus in the interest of promoting a safe environment for all.
The event is also
intended to lead up to Transgender Day of Remembrance on Nov. 20. A Trans 101 workshop will be held quarterly, evolving based on feedback.
Proper usage of pronouns is one of many ways members of the transgender community advise on how to be a better ally. Normalizing requests for an individual’s appropriate gender pronouns following an introduction rejects
notions of assumption, providing the opportunity for people to share how they identify. “Gender is a role that is societally constructed based on a number of factors,”
clarified Colin Donovan, disability specialist for the Disability Resource
Center and LGBTQ Resource Center adviser. While still not binary, sex is a statement of
the body and not the
mind. A transgender person is someone whose mind and body do not match
each other whereas a person who is cisgender
fits within the current societal construct. Educating the community on basic etiquette will hopefully put the campus in a position where “faculty and staff [will] be able
to recognize inappropriate things and [will] be
able to guide students in how to be more accepting and how to not make this a hostile environment,” explained Petri
Muhlhauser, LGBTQ leadership and Trans 101 panelist.
Transgender persons face day-to-day and societal challenges. Donovan explained that, “It really does come down to the simple stuff
like [claims that] you’re in the wrong bathroom.” Katie Baker, LGBTQ leadership member, cited web interfaces as another day-to-day challenge as most do not allow
for gender changes to be made to an account without the deletion of the profile and its content
in its entirety. Muhlhauser made a point to say that
it is not necessarily
about a singular pronoun fumble, but rather the cumulative experience of inappropriate pronoun usage combined with slurs among
many other atrocities. Members of the transgender community face acts of otherization, violence and murder at a disproportional rate.
For more information,stop by the LGBTQ Resource Center located in C212. A video will be created following the event based off of the information shared and feedback received. This video will be made available
through the LGBTQ Resource Center’s Facebook page as well as their site linked to the Bellevue College homepage.