MU celebrates Transgender Day of Visibility on campus


Samantha Weber, Editor in Chief

March 31 is recognized as International Transgender Day of Visibility.
Mercyhurst celebrated this day by having a table set up in the Ryan Hall lobby where students could get information about the inclusivity of transgender individuals on campus.
There was a poster that told people where gender-neutral bathrooms are all around campus and the resources that are available to them on campus.
There were also a variety of buttons with the various flags representing the different categories in the LGBTQIA+ community for the taking. Students could take the button with the flag that they most closely identify with to wear with pride.
“It’s important to celebrate TDOV every year, but particularly at the current moment with so many anti-LGBTQ+, particularly anti-trans bills and legislation being introduced and passed in our nation. Trans individuals have a right to exist and live their lives. TDOV is a day of solidarity for the queer community,” said Jessica Hubert, Multicultural & Inclusion Coordinator.
The transgender community began being recognized in 1998 after the death of Rita Hester.
Hester was a Black transgender woman who was brutally stabbed in her apartment in Boston, MA. After this, transgender women were tired of being targets and being dismissed by the press who made no effort to respect their pronouns.
To demonstrate their protest, the women marched through the Boston neighborhood and this is when Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) was born.
This event was the only annual one that was for the transgender community and it was a very somber one.
Rachel Crandall-Crocker wanted transgender people to have a celebration where they could express themselves and be happy about who they are.
Crandall-Crocker, the creator of International Transgender Day of Visibility decided to stop sitting around waiting for someone else to do it, but eventually decided to take it into her own hands and encouraged people to organize events in their hometown.
There was also an LQBTQIA+ visibility walk that occurred on April 17 around campus.
This was to combat all the anti-LGBTQIA+ laws that are being reconsidered throughout the country.
This walk was planned and executed by Mik Sciortino, junior social work major, and Catherine Segada, a junior anthropology/archaeology, and environmental science major. Sciortino and Segada wanted to create a space and time where people of the community could feel safe being and expressing themselves.
Many people (and dogs) showed up to support the LGBTQIA+ community at the event, which was moved indoors due to weather.
Students gave speeches to encourage, empower, and bring awareness to issues in the LGBTQIA+ community, especially in regards to the current political climate.
These campus events and International Transgender Day of Visibility gives the transgender community a space to celebrate who they are.