Press Release: Acknowledging Trans Lives
October 7, 2019
Dear Loyola Community,
Please note this statement will include references to trans-erasure, trans-ignorance, and transphobia.
This past week, students and campus-affiliated social media accounts shared a video documenting the disposal of menstrual products offered in a “mxn’s” restroom on campus. As a Black, queer woman who holds the title of Chief Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion Officer (CEDIO) of the student body, I felt immense pain upon witnessing this video myself. With these feelings in mind alongside the privilege of having a platform such as Student Government of Loyola Chicago (SGLC), I am called to speak out and call in all folks who felt along with me, and especially the student who committed the act.
While this video may have been only a few seconds, intentional or not, its impact on our campus reflects the unfortunate and oppressive reality of trans-erasure, trans-ignorance, and transphobia in our world. Such implications do not coincide with my values, SGLC’s Inclusion, Equity, & Diversity Mission Statement, Students for Reproductive Justice’s campaign for equal access to menstrual products, nor Loyola University Chicago’s justice-oriented mission and Jesuit values. Yet, with this incident comes an opportunity to spread knowledge, awareness, and support rather than further perpetuating insensitivity and hate.
Transgender identity, including transmxn and transwomxn, can be described simply as one who does not identify with the sex assigned at birth and thus, transitions into or navigates the world holding a different gender identity. Trans-erasure, trans-ignorance, or transphobia each include the disbelief of and/or inacknowledgement of the transgender experience and/or existence. May it be known that I see and acknowledge that “mxn” menstruate, too, and the distribution of menstrual products is necessary in all restrooms everywhere.
As Chief Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion Officer of the SGLC, I will continue to work with SGLC members and campus partners to institute recognition and support of the transgender experience through initiatives such as developing unisex restrooms in residence halls, a transgender and/or LGBTQIA+ mental wellness support group within the wellness center, and establishing an LGBTQIA+ Learning Community within in Residence Life. I would also like to name Student Diversity & Multicultural Affairs as a resource that aims to institute the recognition, value, and inclusion of all gender and sex identities on-campus. To see their website for LGBTQIA+ educative and support-related initiatives follow this link: https://www.luc.edu/diversity/programs/lgbtqia/.
I encourage all of us to take in this moment and use it as momentum to continue to create a change in campus culture. Together, we must persist in the work to ensure that Womxn’s lives matter, that Trans lives matter, that Black lives matter, that all lives systemically undervalued matter and have the right to call Loyola University Chicago home. Let’s learn together and do better together.
In Maroon and Gold,
Taylor Thomas | firstname.lastname@example.org
Chief Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion Officer of the Student Government of Loyola Chicago (SGLC)