Reporter/PJ: Trina La Susa
Madison, Wis.–The month of November is more than just the Thanksgiving holiday, it’s Transgender Visibility Month, a time to raise awareness about the transgender and non-conforming gender community.
After encountering multiple LGBT protests and cases of bias on campus, it brings to question the efforts of UW Madison in moving toward a more inclusive environment for transgender students.
Nick Tolson is a student in the Gender and Women Studies Department. Nick is also a vocal feminist, and identifies as queer and trans. Recently they were targeted in a case of anti-transgender bias.
“I’m read and mis-gendered by people as male a lot so I in particular am not at as much risk as trans-feminine people are but there is still an element of fear I have going out in campus as a trans person,” Tolson said. “About two weeks ago at the end of October someone had left a pamphlet on my door and only my door that had 10 anti-transgender points on it and I got the feeling that this was a very direct targeting.”
According to the Associated Students of Madison equity and inclusion committee, incidents of transgender bias have been on the rise since the presidential election and reporting these incidents can help improve university intervention.
“Along with Trans Visibility month, I don’t think it should be limited to just one month, I think it should be every day that trans people should be allowed to be visible and be recognized for their contributions to campus,”Ali Khan, the ASM Chair of Equity, said.
Vanessa McHale, a LGBT Campus Center Fluid Sexualities Discussion Group Co-Facilitator said the transgender community still needs more of a voice on campus.
“In the LGBT community they tend to focus on the LG and the trans stuff is still there but there’s really very few events,” McHale said.