Transgender Awareness Month events bring light to LGBT

Story by Emily Combs, Contributing writer 

Throughout November, the Office of LGBT Programming hosted several events on campus in observation of Transgender Awareness Month.

The goal of the events was to provide visibility and support for the local trans community, as well as to educate others in the community on trans issues, according to Coordinator of LGBT Programming Meghan Lampe. The seven events for the month included workshops, discussions and movie nights.  Awareness month concluded with the Trans Day of Remembrance Vigil and a Trans Day of Remembrance Self-care Space.

Lampe, who began work as the university’s director of LGBT programming recently, said they were excited to learn more about the community through the events of the month.

“I started shop just over three months ago, and I actually moved here from Louisville right before that,” Lampe said. “I knew a little bit about the LGB part of the community here [already], but I didn’t know how big the trans population was, or if there was a community of support, and it’s actually been very positive. There have been a lot of students and faculty and staff who’ve been very supportive, and community members.”

The month is centered around Transgender Day of Remembrance, an annual effort observed Nov. 20 to memorialize those whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence.

This year 25 names were read, which is the deadliest year on record for anti-transgender violence.

“That’s just the people we know about,” Lampe said. “It’s a huge issue.”

“This month has been about having programs that will call attention to the fact that there is an issue,” Lampe said. “That trans people are facing these levels of violence, especially trans people of color. So, the events this month have really been about educating people who are wanting to learn, and bringing the trans community a little bit more in focus.”

Lampe emphasized that educating oneself on LGBT issues is not just for the month of November.

“I’m hired to be that person, if anyone has questions they want answers for, or if they want to educate,” Lampe said. “And I think people just standing up and interrupting problematic language or jokes; or if they see someone being harassed, just stepping in. It can be really small, like seeing something and saying, ‘hey, that’s not cool.’ We don’t do that enough, and it makes a huge difference.”