Housing to host in-service on American transgenders

Resident assistants and housing professional staff will come together for an in-service conference to discuss “Trans in America.”

On Nov. 11 at 5:30 p.m., Justin Williamson will be hosting “Trans in America” in the Student Union on the third floor pending Registration of Activities’ approval.

The presentation will focus on issues of transgendered people living in dormitories.

“[The objective of this event is] to educate participants about the current state of the Trans equality movement in America,” said Williamson, resident assistant with University Housing. “There are ideas that persist in talks about Tran’s topics that Trans lives matter. Representations of Tran’s ideas, discussions and representations over the past year are impossible to miss.” 

According to collegeequality website, 38 colleges currently have gender neutral housing. Other colleges such as those in Colorado and California are motioning for the same procedure to be implemented in their states.

“Gender neutral housing is a rising topic in higher education,” said Williamson. “At more universities that might be considered more progressive, it is already an option to make any LGBT resident feel safes as part of the college experience.”

When deciding if a dorm should be gender neutral, an issue that comes up is whether a person should be classified by gender over biological means.

“With regard to Trans Peoples’ gender identity being respected, that is the whole point of the Trans movement,” said Williamson. “A Trans woman should be able to live in a female dorm and not experience any problems. Similarly, a Trans man should be able to live in a male dorm. At the core of the Trans equality movement is the idea of respect and value. You cannot just disregard a person’s experiences and needs because they are not your own.”

Williamson hopes the presentation will instill a better understanding of what it means to be Trans as well as understand that changes need to be made.

“There is an idea that persists in talks about Trans topics that trans lives matter; people just need to be part of a discussion about what being Trans means and how to create healthier, welcoming communities,” said Williamson. “The tipping point has happened, so it’s important to expose people to these topics. “

Those in charge of the event hope that future endeavors will be held about the topic of Trans living in the dorms to help lead to a comfortable lifestyle for resident life.

“I [believe] more events should be held,” said Williamson. “From experience, I know one of the ways members of the LGBT community feel comfortable in coming out and living authentically is by creating the atmosphere in order to enable them to do so.”