By Lara Garrett – 1851 Staff
Students from Professor Marsha Mirkin’s Social Psychology class and Professor Becky Kennedy’s Short Literature class recently held a three-meeting series with Lasell Village residents to discuss transgender awareness.
Students and villagers met to talk with Lasell College alumni, Hayden Weltin, class of 2014, at their first meeting.
“Gender identity is who you want to go to bed as rather than who you want to go to bed with,” said Weltin.
The audience was introduced to facts about transgender people that are not common knowledge. For example, in 2015 there were 17 homicides of transgender women. The majority of these were women of color.
Dating violence is also a big issue in the transgender community. One in three transgender people are victims of dating violence. And, 50 percent of transgender people have attempted sui- cide by the age of 20, according to the information provided at the meeting.
Weltin spoke about his childhood, how he dressed in his brother’s hand-me-downs, how his first girlfriend helped him realize that he was transgender, and how he came out to his parents. Weltin also talked about his fiancé, Martha Powell, another Lasell alum from 2014.
The second time the students and villagers met, there was a showing of the documentary “Growing Up Trans.” The film features transgender children both male and female and the parents dealing with their transition.
Weltin discussed the mourning par- ents feel for their child when they transition to a different gender. Both Weltin and the film talked about how it is hard to obtain the hormones that are necessary to transition. Hormone blockers are especially critical for young children.
Students and villagers grouped together at their third meeting to discuss personal thoughts on both the film, and Weltin’s presentation.
Sophomore Lauren Ahern said, “The most interesting part is that [Weltin] was from the school and that someone as suc- cessful as him was once in our position.”