Southern Hosts a Conversation Surrounding Trans Related Issues

Ellie Sherry Reporter 

As more and more deaths of trans people occur, Southern decided to hold a round table about problems and solutions surrounding transgender issues.

The event was run by a member of the NAACP on campus, Jamil Harp a senior communications major. He would ask prompting questions, and the group would respond with their thoughts and it would be open for discussion.

The discussion ranged from personal problems that trans people face to country wide issues for the transgender community. While Harp was leading the discussion, the group provided a lot of insight to other issues other than what he was asking questions about.

“ I think as a community we need for there to be ways to have access to more resources for this population, whether it be housing, finding places of employment and finding safe spaces for trans people,” said Harp.

One of the people in attendance was Marlena Oliveri, the graduate intern at the SAGE Center. She brought up some valid points as well as someone who is an advocate for transgender people.

“ I think something important to identify while we are having this discussion, and I don’t know hiw everyone in this room identifies but, I personally identify as a cis-gender woman. So, I have cis priveledge, and its important to both use that priveledge to advocate for other communites, but also to make sure that the people who do identify as trans have the chance to have their voice be heard,” said Oliveri.

Another issue that was brought up was the idea that there needs to be more conversations about the main problems especially with people who may not be the most understanding. Theo Muncey a senior IDS major offered a possible solution to doing this safely in a classroom.

“ For me I walk into a lot of experiences wondering if I am going to experience transphobia. Here I have a backup plan in case someone says something, and I don’t have to deal with that traumatic experience. Even having professors just have a 25 minute conversation to say what will and will not be tolerated in a classroom,” said Muncey.

Later on in the event Senator George Logan also came to talk and listen to transgender issues. He made a statement that he was just beginning the process of learning and educating himself about issues within the LGBTQIA+ community.

“ I was invited to come by the NAACP to come, and so I thought it would be a good idea to sit and listen. There are a lot of folks in the LGBTQ community who live and work in my district, and I wanted to familiarize myself with the issues surrounding that community,” said Senator Logan.

Logan also said, “ The best way to support the community to me is to actually be there and work with the community, and I intend to do that. Other than bullying in school for middle and high school aged kids, which is something we try to take care of on the municipal level, then on the state level. However there are more detailed and specific issues, that I want to learn more about.”

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