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WSU, GNA Hosts Transgender Day of Empowerment Sept. 30

By |2018-09-19T14:49:25-04:00September 19th, 2018|Michigan, News|

It is known as a celebration of self and understanding, the Transgender Day of Empowerment is a day dedicated to encouraging members of the transgender community to both feel confident in who they are, and to connect more deeply with themselves. On Sunday, Sept. 30 Wayne State University’s LGBT Student Advisory Board and the Gender Identity Network Alliance will come together to celebrate this day by putting on a full-day conference at the university’s Student Center.
“This year’s theme is Embrace Your True Self, so we want people who are trans to accept themselves, love themselves, and it’s called the Transgender Day of Empowerment, which is different from the two other large transgender holidays,” said Cara Mitrano, event organizer and WSU LGBT Student Advisory Board founder. “We have the Transgender Day of Remembrance which is about remembering those who have been lost due to suicide or violence and then … on March 31 is the Transgender Day of Visibility which (was) started to say, ‘It’s not just about sadness and remembering those we’ve lost, it’s also about making us visible, and for people to know about us, the struggles of our community and so that they know that we’re here we want to be included.'”
Attendees will be able to attend a variety of events spanning from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. that cover topics ranging from embracing one’s strength, to navigating the workplace in the midst of transition.
“We have a wide variety of presenters,” Mitrano said. “We have Roz Keith from Stand With Trans and she’ll be facilitating a discussion. Then Dr. Sandra Samons and Dr. Stephen Rassi will be speaking about Discovering Your True Self. Gerri Carney will be speaking about the particulars of seeking and obtaining a legal name change, so there’s some practical information. And we might also have facilitated discussions on relevant topics, too. So, there’s something for everyone at this event, whether you’re trans yourself, an ally or really just looking to learn more about the trans community.”
Keith is the founder and board president of Stand With Trans, an organization that develops educational events for both transgender kids and their parents. She said she’s excited to attend an event that will provide another outlet for people to learn more about the transgender community.
“My experience has been that anytime you can provide education to the community, invite others, potential new allies, into a new space to learn and to connect and perhaps encourage greater acceptance, that it’s a win-win for everyone,” Keith said. “The transgender community gets an event that’s celebratory of that particular community and the allies or potential new allies who come in are able to learn more and make connections.”
In particular, Rassi, who has presented at several other TDOE events, said that he’s been pleasantly surprised by the openness and positivity of the transgender youth in attendance.
“I know that there have been times where they’ve had some presentations where there were a lot of adolescents or teens who were trans, and they were so willing to share with the audience, with all of these adults of all ages,” he said. “These young people were fearless. They were open and sharing how they felt and how they thought, and that was amazing. And it was so good that they could be such a good example for their elders. It’s gotten more like that over the past years.”
The event will be held at the Student Center Ballroom on Wayne State University’s Campus, located at 5221 Gullen Mall Detroit. Find out more information about the event online at events.wayne.edu or find the event on Facebook.

About the Author:

Eve Kucharski
As news and feature editor at Between The Lines, Eve Kucharski's work has spanned the realms of current events and entertainment. She's chatted with stars like Wanda Sykes, Margaret Cho and Tyler Oakley as well as political figures like Gloria Steinem, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Attorney General Dana Nessel. Her coverage of the November 2018 elections was also featured in a NowThis News report.