NEWS

Annual Transgender Awareness Week celebrated at UA

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Cecilia Alvarez | The Daily Wildcat

Diva performs during Diva La Paz at the Colonia de la Paz Residence Hall on Nov. 7 to raise awareness about issues facing the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning community. Transgender Awareness Week began on Thursday and will run until Sunday to bring those in the transgender community together.

Tucson’s Ninth Annual Transgender Awareness Week kicked off on Thursday and will run until Sunday.

According to the LGBTQ Affairs website, the week “is a celebration of trans identities and an acknowledgement of the infinite number of genders that exist in our world. It is an effort to bring together people who identify as transgender, transsexual, gender-queer, masculine of center, feminine of center, two-spirit, a-gender, butch, femme, gender fluid and all gender fabulous people with our allies.”

Jacob Winkelman, an intern for the Associated Students of the University of Arizona Pride Alliance, said he felt that Transgender Awareness Week is important, because the lesbian, gay, bisexual. transgender and queer movement is often only associated with gay or lesbian rights and marriage equality.

“Really, the point of Transgender Awareness Week is to show that we have so much more work to be done in our community, and that literally hundreds of people are murdered every year just because they are transgender,” Winkelman said, “and that most people aren’t aware that this is happening, but this is a really serious and important issue that deserves a lot more attention than it’s getting.”

He also said that, aside from the more serious aspect of the week, it is also a good way to provide resources.

Greg Daniels, co-director for ASUA Pride Alliance, said there will be a lot of events on campus throughout the week.

There will be a Transgender Awareness Week Resource Fair on the UA Mall from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today. Daniels said the resource fair will have information on the gender spectrums and how to become a better ally to transgender people; there will be individuals on hand to answer questions.

Francisco Galarte and new UA Trans Initiative faculty will be in the LGBTQ Resource Center on Tuesday from 12:30-1:30 p.m. hosting a discussion, and at 6:30 p.m., the Ask A Trans Person Anything Panel will be held in the Student Union Memorial Center’s Rincon Room. Daniels said the discussion will introduce two new faculty members who are a part of the Transgender Studies Initiative Cluster Hire. They will discuss their visions of trans studies, their research, their journey through academia and what courses they hope to offer to undergraduates in the future.

The panel will also have trans individuals of varying ages and identities who are willing to answer any and all questions that are trans-related.

The International Transgender Day of Remembrance will be on Thursday. A vigil will be held at 6 p.m. at the Old Main Fountain, where people will gather to read the names of transgender people who died in the past year. The vigil will be a time to honor and mourn them and to raise awareness of hate crimes against transgender people and those targeted for their gender identities or gender expression.

The vigil will also feature handmade kites, which are part of Made for Flight. Made for Flight is a workshop that focuses on building kites to commemorate the lives of transgender individuals who have been murdered in the past year.

The kites will be on display today during the resource fair and on Thursday for the International Transgender Day of Remembrance.

“Here’s a week where we, as LGBTQ Affairs, can provide a lot of resources for transgender folks or people who want to be better allies to transgender people,” Winkelman said. “Just provide them with the tools to do that, answer questions, [provide an] educational program and just create a safe and fun community.”

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