Campus Life

A Time to Celebrate & Look Ahead: USU Announces Transgender Visibility Day Speaker, Events

By Kat Webb |

The International Transgender Day of Visibility is Thursday, March 31, and Utah State University is welcoming the community to join the celebration on campus at 4 p.m. in room 101 of the Merrill-Cazier Library.

“The past year, and with the news that has come out of the legislature recently, I think our trans community has taken a lot of hits, and it feels really good to have an opportunity to highlight our accomplishments at USU, in our community and to build solidarity,” said Christy Glass, the interim director of the Center for Intersectional Gender Studies and Research. “It’s a way to celebrate this community and shine a spotlight on all of the ways in which trans students, staff and faculty make our campus stronger.”

While many members of the LGBTQIA+ community are feeling heavy with the weight of anti-transgender legislation being passed around the country, it’s also important to take a moment to reflect on the good being done, said Erika-Danielle Lindström, whose pronouns are she/her and who is co-organizing the event with Glass.

“For instance, this past year, we now have our bathroom map on the Logan campus map so we can show gender-inclusive restrooms,” said the gender and sexuality coordinator at the Inclusion Center, explaining that “We have individuals that come on our campus who won't eat or drink all day out of fear of their body being patrolled. We have individuals that have had that experience, unfortunately, here at USU. And we've had students that do get slurs.”

Which is why it’s important to look forward on what the next steps toward inclusion may be, she added.

“It’s also a day to be challenged instead of having performative allyship,” Lindström said. “It’s about hearing stories, hearing the celebrations, but at the same time being inspired to what can you do in your sphere of influence? What can you change? What can we be doing to make sure that students, faculty and staff — every Aggie — who comes here feels like they’re an Aggie?”

The event will also feature a presentation and Q&A session with College of Humanities and Social Sciences alumna Stacey Jackson-Roberts, a transgender woman who has long advocated for LGBTQIA+ and other human rights issues in Washington, D.C., and throughout the U.S.

"I'm honored and delighted to be returning to USU as the keynote speaker,” Jackson-Roberts said. “I am thrilled by the progress USU has made since I was a student nearly two decades ago, and I hope to be a part of the ongoing change being made on campus and across the state of Utah in the years to come."

Jackson-Roberts previously led the Utah Pride Center as CEO and is now the vice president of operations for Encircle, a nonprofit focused on bringing family and community together to enable LGBTQIA+ youth to thrive. The organization plans to build an Encircle home in Logan and will be collaborating with USU to bring additional opportunities to students.

“For example, we're going to have some social work faculty who oversee the social work practicum programs try to identify ways in which social work students at USU can get clinical training by working with Encircle in their clinical programs,” Glass said.

Following the 4 p.m. community festivities at the library, students can attend a trivia night hosted by the Queer Student Alliance at the TSC in room 315 starting at 5 p.m.

WRITER

Kat Webb
Content and Marketing Copywriter
University Marketing and Communications
kat.webb@usu.edu

CONTACT

Christy Glass
Director
Center for Intersectional Gender Studies and Research (Intersections)
christy.glass@usu.edu

Erika-Danielle Lindström
Program Coordinator: Gender & Sexuality Student Programs
Inclusion Center
(435) 797-1164
erika.lindstrom@usu.edu



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