October 23, 2018

Hello from the QRC. We’re sure many of you have heard the recent news regarding the trans-related memo from the White House. We wanted to make sure to respond and update you all on what is happening, offer some words of support, and ways to take action.

The current White House administration has been crossing lines and harming lives since day one. It can be exhausting to pay unique attention to each and every new human rights abuse--especially when it seems like they get swept under the rug within a week. Despite this, we must persevere and resist wherever we can. As hurtful as it is, we need to pay attention and support one another.

 

What happened this time?

In a recent memo, the Trump administration signaled their move to define gender as a “biological, immutable condition determined solely by genitalia at birth.”

This would exclude transgender folks from Title IX protection and signify federal support for discrimination based on trans identities. Access to identification change processes and support from schools and workplaces were not always guaranteed even with the incentives provided by the Obama administration, but this is a hard pivot away from those guidelines.

This change will impact school systems and deny even more support to trans students who seek to use bathrooms or locker rooms that match their gender. Additionally, prisons and homeless shelters have more room for discrimination based on transgender status, which will impact already at risk trans folks heavily.

This rule will not, however, eliminate precedents set by pro-trans courts, it will not change the fact that the medical community at large is on our side, and it will not erase our experiences as trans people living trans lives.

https://www.democracynow.org/2018/10/22/trump_admin_attempts_to_erase_existence


What can we do?

Educate yourself:

You can take a moment to read these articles:

Some key highlights are as follows: voting is important. We need to pay attention to the policies that get enacted on the local level especially - since they will impact schools and local programs that directly change the lives of trans folks. If you’re an ally, educate other allies. Send in comments on the memo. There are more details in the 7 action items article that is very worth looking at in detail.

 

Persevere:

For trans folks out there that are feeling hurt, neglected, and hopeless - don’t give up. To pick out some key points from Mara Keisling:

“To transgender people: I know you are frightened. I know you are horrified to see your existence treated in such an inhumane and flippant manner. What this administration is trying to do is an abomination, a reckless attack on your life and mine. But this administration is also staffed by inexperienced amateurs overplaying their hand by taking extreme positions that ignore law, medicine, and basic human decency. With each awful headline like this, remember that you are far from alone. NCTE and other organizations are continuing to fight against this bigotry. Remember that there is an entire human rights community that not only stands with us but will always fight back—and fight hard. Thousands of us have devoted our lives to protecting you and your families, and our ability to do so is nothing short of a privilege. And we will not lay down now.”

You are not alone, and we will support each other with all the love and resilience we have built up as a community over decades of fighting for our rights.


Take action:

The Queer Resource Center team calls on our Southern Oregon University community to take action and be of support for students and employees in our Raider community. Please contact your respective government representatives today to voice your concerns regarding this proposal. Here is the contact information for government outlets to voice your perspectives:


Practice self-care and care for others:

Please also take time for self-care and caring for those around you. As a reminder, there are many resources available to support your wellbeing:

 

Connect:

As always, please know that the staff at the SOU Queer Resource Center is here for you as well. Please contact us anytime. We are located in the lower level of the Stevenson Union, Room 125; and can be reached by phone at 541.552.8329 and/or by email at QRC@sou.edu.

Our hours of operation include:

  • Monday: 9:30am-4:30pm
  • Tuesday: 9:30am-4:30pm
  • Wednesday: 9:30am-3:30pm
  • Thursday: 9:30am-4:30pm
  • Friday: 9:30am-2:30pm

We offer a weekly support group for trans identifying individuals and individuals questioning their gender identities in a relaxed setting with peers. This group is peer-facilitated, and open to SOU and local community members. The group meets weekly on Mondays from 5:30pm to 7:00pm in the Queer Resource Center (SU 125).

Students in the Gender, Sexuality, & Women’s Studies class: Transgender Studies (GSWS 312), are also working on reports, proposals, and community action plans for our campus to better serve the needs of trans people and allies in our campus community, including students, staff, faculty, and administration. If you’re interested in finding out more or in supporting their work, you can contact sojkac@sou.edu for more information.

In solidarity,

SOU Queer Resource Center Staff