Today: Apr 21, 2024

SAGE celebrates Trans Day of Visibility

Ali Fernand- Editor-in-Chief

The Sexuality and Gender Equality, SAGE, Center was showered in blue, white and pink to celebrate Transgender Day of Visibility. Trans students and allies gathered for a joyful event full of support.  

“Transitive visibility is to show that the trans community is here. We are always here and will continue to be here,” communications major Cassie Flanagan, a junior, said.  

Computer science major Kaye Feinberg, a junior, and interdisciplinary studies major John Stannard, a freshman, with trans flag colored cat stickers. Photo: Kahiona Senior

The actual Trans Day of Visibility is celebrated every year on March 31, which is on a Sunday this year. To celebrate with the campus community, SAGE held their celebration early on Wednesday, March 27.  

Trans Day of Visibility acts as a holiday to celebrate the joys of trans existence. Its purpose is to acknowledge trans people and educate those who might not know much about the lives of trans people.  

“A lot of the times, the LGBTQ+ community is defined by tragedy,” SAGE Center Graduate Intern Brandon Iovene said. “Events like these, even though they’re small, I hope that it shows people that not everything about queerness has to be about tragedy. There is also joy in transness.” 

SAGE provided pizza, snacks and trans-themed stickers to students and faculty who decided to show their support.  

“It’s one of the more joyful events that we do as opposed to Trans Day of Remembrance,” SAGE Ambassador Sam Gontarz, a senior, said. “It’s just like a party, a great place for people to just come together and support one another.” 

A bowl of trans stickers offered by SAGE. Photo: Kahiona Senior

Trans Day of Remembrance is held every year on November 20. This is a day where people remember trans folk who have died from acts of violence.  

Iovene took time during the celebration to pause for a moment in silence to remember Nex Benedict. Benedict was a non-binary student who recently passed away after an altercation at school. 

“While there are those types of negative things, the purpose of this is to show queer and trans people that there are things that they can celebrate, which is living their true and authentic selves,” Iovene said.  

It is still unclear whether Benedict’s death was caused by the altercation or was self-inflicted. Regardless, Iovene felt it was important to acknowledge such a loss.  

SAGE also took the time to reflect on the presence of the trans community within the university.  

“As a newly trans person coming to Southern as my true self for the first time ever, everybody here was caring,” Flanagan said. “Even if they’re not, they are at the very least apathetic and willing to see other students as students.” 

SAGE is the core of the LGBTQ+ community’s presence on campus. Many queer students have a safe space to go and be appreciated for who they are.  

“There’re people here who will relate to you, support you and back you up if you need it,” Gontarz said.  

Though SAGE offers a space for queer students, many wish to see more from the university as an institution. Iovene said that he wishes the university would do more to acknowledge trans and queer students.  

“We need visual and symbolic representation that the university is demonstrating that there is a holistic approach to social justice and not a segmented approach,” Iovene said.  

Flanagan said that Connecticut is an overall safe place to be trans, but she still feels worried over growing hatred throughout the country. She urges students to educate themselves to better protect trans lives.  

“Make sure that the rest of the student body knows the threat that their trans brothers and sisters and friends are under,” Flanagan said.  

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