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GSA Hosts Panel to Celebrate Transgender Students

Graphic provided by GSA.

By Erica Fish
Staff Writer
We all have a story to tell, but not everyone can see it.
Gender norms have grounded what beauty is supposed to define. From slims waists and curves to thick shoulders and striking brows, the decision to come out as transgender can be a difficult one.
Beauty does not mean conforming to the standards society has historically deemed as the chosen and accepted identity of a person.
Since 2018, FGCU’s Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA) has hosted the Transgender Day of Visibility Panel, which takes place every March 31. This year was no different.
This year’s theme is “Trans is Powerful,” and the event allowed students, faculty and staff to listen to a panel of trans students who shared their stories about what it means to be transgender.
Freshman Andrea Basabe attended the panel and said that hearing from other students helped her reflect on her own identity and was an empowering experience.
“Having a heart means having the compassion to support and defend however a person chooses to live, and if that choice is transgender, there is no harm in loving one another,” Andrea Basabe.
Basabe is also a member of the LGBTQIA+ community.
There is a legacy of trans activism, initiatives and advocacy at FGCU. Events like this panel influence the drive for young adults to learn and support those a part of the LGBTQIA+ community.
Outlets for queer youth are essential today, and the Transgender Day of Visibility Panel recognized the trans students on our campus.
“There is more that needs to be done but recognizing us, the who we are, does make our want to find a place in society worth it,” Silas Hall, a transgender student, said.
The mold of the cisgender world has made it difficult for transgender people to overcome stereotypes and judgments.
“Wrongful gender stereotyping causes discrimination and affects enjoyment to human rights,” Hall said.
Gender stereotypes are the roots of gender identity, which has evolved over the centuries. When studying the evolution of human sexuality and gender identity, ancient Romans took on roles of the opposite sex and, in parts of the empire, homosexuality was accepted. There was no anguish, and there was no tension that prevented a person from experimenting with their identity.
Recent political activism has played a huge role in advocating for transgender rights and eliminating discrimination and violence against members of the transgender community.
Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights says, “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.”
LGBTQIA+ community showcases resilience by overcoming their battles of being recognized and accepted.
It just takes a welcoming embrace to see how trans represents the true definition of how difference means beauty.
“You do find more than just yourself in our community,” Hall said. “We are a newfound family after all, and that includes everyone who is part of the support, the happiness, and the representation of us. The ones who are not afraid to be who we are.”

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