By Colin Daly
The acronym T.A.G. stands for the Transgender Advocacy, which helped present Transgender 101, during the lunch hours on Monday, Oct. 27. The hour long meeting was located in the Pride Center, RCC 109.
Transgender 101 went exactly as they had planned; a short seminar about individuals who identify themselves as either Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, or as an Ally to the community, followed by an open question and response session.
It is a fact that the GLBTQ subject comes with a lot of intensity and personal connection. Similar to talking about race, talking to someone with weight problems or speaking to individuals that struggle with addiction, there are correct ways to have the conversation, and there are incorrect ways.
The seminar included an interview, and it was apparent from the start how a conversation between a heterosexuals and transgender individuals can quietly be offensive to the latter person, hidden with connotations and slip ups that heterosexuals may not understand.
An Ally is an individual who understands the situation of gays, lebians, bisexuals, and transgenders, and is proactive in promoting GLBTA equality.
To become an Ally, students can go to the Pride Center and sign up for a class. Once students have taken the class, they can receive a certificate stating that they are an Ally.
Many students have the misconception that the Pride Center is a student association, which funds itself, recruits and hosts its own student-run events. This is not the case.
The Pride Center is actually its own department, which is funded by the University. It serves as an educational apparatus willing to serve those who would like to learn more. The University is actually one of the leaders at providing substantial funding and support unmatched by most other colleges in the Northeast.
To paraphrase junior Jen Christensen, who works at the Pride Center, “The room is considered a Safe Haven to many students, which is regularly used as an all-purpose hangout spot. Many of the same faces come by, but we often see new people come by as well.”
Those who chill there often do homework, play board games, chat, or watch movies.
The feeling in the room during Transgender 101 had become very comfortable and welcoming. A free lunch was served at the event, and it also served up some information about the Pride Center and Transgender rights and advocacy.
GLBTA rights is a subject that is still misunderstood by many. Take the time to know each person you meet, because they could be a new friend. They are probably more similar to you than they are different.
Colin Daly is a Comment Contributor. You can follow him on Twitter at @ColinDaly7793.