Trans Awareness Week events: Film screening, block party and vigil

 Courtesy of Joshua Ahiakwo

Blakeley Bartee

The Georgia Southern University Unite for Reproductive and Gender Equity (URGE) organization is hosting three events for Trans Awareness Week on Wednesday night and Thursday.

The events are intended to raise awareness of issues affecting transgender people as well as celebrate and honor the lives of transgender victims of hate crimes, according to Joshua Ahiakwo, queer and transgender people of color facilitator for the GS Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA).

“We are actively showing support and solidarity for our fellow Eagles who are transgender and continuing to forge a welcoming, safe and inclusive environment for students on campus. We are also educating ourselves and other students about transgender activists, history and people at large,” Ahiakwo said in an email.

The following is a list of the Trans Awareness Week events, as written by Ahiakwo:

  • Nov. 15 at 7:30 p.m. in RU Room 2048: URGE is screening the documentary, The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson, starring the transgender woman who was responsible for igniting the modern LGBT Rights Movement.
  • Nov. 16 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the RU Rotunda: URGE is hosting an Awareness Block Party to celebrate the lives of transgender activists while continuing to raise awareness of the issues that they continue to confront today. Other student organizations, including Greek student organizations, have been invited to come table with us. In addition to student organizations, TOP Notch, from The Change Project will be there in support of the block party!
  • Nov. 16 from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the RU Rotunda: URGE is organizing a Remembrance Vigil for those who have lost their lives to anti-transgender violence. The Gay-Straight Alliance, as well as representatives from other student organizations will also be present.

Ahiakwo believes the first step for students who wish to support transgender people in the community is to educate themselves.

“Education is empowerment and awareness leads to action,” Ahiakwo said in an email.

Ahiakwo encourages students to get involved with the GSA or URGE and consult GLAAD to learn more about terminology and issues impacting the Gender and Sexual Minority (GSM) community.

“There is a spacious gap between common misconceptions and the truth about trans people, and these myths do a lot of harm to trans students and the community as a whole,” Ahiakwo said in an email.

The National Center for Transgender Equality and Transgender Law Center have more information specifically about policy that impacts transgender people, according to Ahiakwo.

Ahiakwo said, “Lastly, and most importantly, you can directly support transgender students in their personal initiatives to promote equity for the community, like Ethan Winters’s TOP Notch fundraiser for transgender people pursuing transition, backed by the Change Project.”