“Catholic school teaches you two things,” Delegate Danica Roem quipped at the Women’s Community Center’s (WCC) inaugural Gender, Equity and Justice Summit on Saturday. “Be who you are, and be it well — that’s number one. And number two: Conversion therapy does not work.” Roem was the keynote speaker at the summit, where she discussed…
The Women’s Community Center (WCC) held its second Feminist Discussion on Wednesday to discuss transgender rights in light of a recently leaked memo from the Trump administration.
Following Sunday’s publication of a memo showing that the Trump administration is considering narrowing the federal definition of gender to solely sex assigned at birth, University administrators reaffirmed Stanford’s support for all gender identities. Multiple student groups also responded to the possibility of redefinition.
I believe that this trend is the result of a more complicated story, a story in which visibility and inclusion mirror violence and exclusion, involving two increasingly fractured transgender camps.
2016 has been one of the worst years in recent memory for trans communities around the world. The 295 murders worldwide and 24 murders in the United States alone broke the previous record (271 and 22, in 2015), despite the increasing visibility of transgender, gender-variant and intersex people in society. As I wrote for 2015’s Trans Day of Remembrance, “never before have trans people been so visible in media and popular culture, and never before have trans people been so violently under threat.”
What I find myself fixated on concerning this piece, however, is one of Shulevitz’s proposed solutions to what she calls “the conflict between transgender rights and privacy interests” – “Stop teaching the sexes to hide their bodies from each other…perhaps it’s time to retire the notion of two sexes.”
Luckily, Stanford students, this summer will be a much-needed time to recharge for most people as we head home. Nowhere else is it so easy to hear people with the same ideas as us and regain our faith in the ability of people with privilege to generate fantastical alternatives for reality.
As an out and visible trans woman of color at Stanford, I refuse to be a fleeting memory for students to smile at in thirty years, a token trans person on campus. Stanford: it is your responsibility to do more than care about a theoretical community. It is long past due for concrete action to replace ineffective sentiment.