Workshop Explores Challenges Facing Transgender Community

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What is it like to be transgender at Georgia Tech? The LGBTQIA Resource Center, Student Center, and Student Diversity Programs hosted Transgender @ Tech — the first workshop of its kind — earlier this month to explore answers to this question.

During the workshop, attendees recognized Transgender Day of Remembrance, learned appropriate language specific to the transgender community, and identified strategies to practice allyship and create inclusive spaces on campus. 

Recognized annually on November 20, Transgender Day of Remembrance honors the memory of those murdered because of anti-transgender violence. So far in 2015, 22 transgender and gender non-conforming people have been killed in the U.S., and 19 of these were trans women of color. At the start of the Transgender @ Tech workshop, 22 Georgia Tech employees and students participated in a candlelight vigil to remember those who were lost to anti-transgender violence in the past year.

“Our campus community needs to be engaged in learning and implementing language and practices that create a safe and welcoming environment for our trans students and employees,” said Aby Parsons, director of the LGBTQIA Resource Center. “This growing community has been historically underserved at Georgia Tech, and it's important that we're all invested in changing that narrative and experience." 

In spring, the LGBTQIA Resource Center will launch Trans 101 training sessions to educate faculty, staff, and student participants about the transgender, gender non-conforming, and gender questioning communities, and provide participants with the skills and knowledge necessary to create a welcoming and supportive climate for people of all gender identities and expressions.

“Even though privacy and safety are often concerns, it is important to raise awareness about these programs to continue building a stronger trans community and inclusive culture at Georgia Tech,” said Aiden Payne, graduate student in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering and one of the facilitators at Transgender @ Tech.

Trans 101 will be offered February 23, from 2 to 4 p.m., and March 16, from 10 a.m. to noon. To register, visit

The LGBTQIA Resource Center, part of the Office of Student Life and Institute Diversity, is located in Room 138, Smithgall Student Services (Flag) Building.


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