Sac State celebrates transgender community with weeklong events

The+PRIDE+Center+and+Women%27s+Resource+Center+will+host+the+2016+Transgender+Awareness+Week+on+campus+from+Nov.+14+to+20.%0A%28Photo+by+Wikimedia%29

The PRIDE Center and Women’s Resource Center will host the 2016 Transgender Awareness Week on campus from Nov. 14 to 20. (Photo by Wikimedia)

Marissa Murcko

Sacramento State will host this year’s Transgender Awareness Week from Nov. 14 to 20 with various events like panel discussions and group meditations throughout the campus.

The weeklong event will be hosted by the PRIDE Center and the Women’s Resource Center.

On the event’s schedule, the Transgender Day of Healing will be hosted at the Multi-Cultural Center on Nov. 18 to empower folx —people who are part of the LGBTQIA community.

Chris Kent, the program coordinator of the PRIDE Center, said the Transgender Day of Healing will include activities like making friendship bracelets and discussing the current issues facing the community.

“It is a space specifically for transgender and gender-nonconforming folks to make connections with one another, talk about healing, and how to prepare for the Transgender Day of Remembrance event, which takes place the next day and is often very emotional,” Kent said.

Kent said the purpose of creating the event was to focus on healing and keep on fighting and living. It was also to complement existing traditional Transgender Day of Remembrance programs, which focus on remembering and mourning those who have passed away, often through acts of violence.

“While I can’t speak for the transgender community, I have been told by many students that spaces created specifically for transgender people to find empowerment from each other and to reflect on their experiences are crucially important,” Kent said.

On Nov. 16, the PRIDE Center will also host the Becoming Better Allies Workshop, which will include a short presentation about the transgender community and some critical-thinking activities to build allyship skills.

Indiana Womack, the program assistant of the Women’s Resource Center, said the workshop is a place where people can show their support and learn skills for supporting others who are facing daily discrimination from society.

“I absolutely encourage students to openly show support for the transgender,” said Womack, who will facilitate the discussions throughout the workshop. “(In the past,) I really appreciated sharing a space with other transgender people where we could pursue healing together.”

Womack said attendees at the Nov. 18 event will organize a carpool plan to attend the Transgender Day of Remembrance Candlelight Vigil at the Trinity Episcopal Cathedral on Capitol Avenue on Nov. 19.

“(The vigil) is a very important international event which reminds us to consider the lives of transgender people that have ended in violence each year,” Womack said.

Junior business major Taylor Mitchell said he believes the event is important to attend the candlelight vigil and healing discussions to gain a better understanding of the struggles members of the transgender community face everyday.

“I think it’s really important for people to come out and see the transgender community and what they go through and why it’s important to treat them like everyone else,” Mitchell said.