By Katie Peters & Emily Long – 1851 staff
PRIDE hosted Transgender Day of Remembrance in the Arnow Campus Center, Nov. 15. The event that brought attention to transgender issues featured Carter, a 24-year-old non-binary trans masculine man who shared his story of coming into his identity. Born a girl, he had known that he was trans from a very young age but didn’t get to learn about his identity until college. Most of his adolescence, he was encouraged to wear makeup and skinny jeans. His father would give him lectures on dating and boys.
Going to college allowed Carter to find a community and explore his identity. This wasn’t without push-back from family members. After attending support groups and finding people who encouraged him to be who he was, Carter felt more comfortable with his identity.
PRIDE focuses on LGBTQ+ rights and students of an array of sexualities and genders on campus. Faculty advisor for PRIDE, Thomas Morgan, says that Transgender Day of Remembrance is “a celebration of the spirit of what it means to be transgender… We’re also being cognizant of the fact that, even though we’ve made great progress, we still have a long way to go both with the violence, which is a big part of this day in particular, but also just civil rights.”
Morgan emphasized the need to educate others on how these issues affect the Lasell community. According to the 2017 Student Satisfaction Survey, 14 percent of students identify as LGBTQ+. Of that 14 percent, 10 percent identify as Bisexual, three percent as gay or lesbian and one percent as transgender. About one in every 14 students in the Lasell community may be affected by discrimination based on their sexuality or gender.
The PRIDE Club allows students to gather in a smaller social setting with other people who experience similar things. Specific incidents can be reported to Thomas Morgan and Jessie Tauriac in the IC3 or on The Bias Education and Support Team (BEST), an online reporting tool where students can report anonymously.
PRIDE hosts a number of events throughout the year to educate the community on LGBT issues. “We plan events around what is needed,” says Morgan. In October, the club celebrated Spirit Day, a day dedicated to raising awareness of bullying of LGBTQ+ students, by inviting the Lasell community to take a pledge against bullying and speak out if they were to witness an act of bullying.