[Image retrieved from wikipedia.com]
By Olivia Boyd
“Let us unite. We fight for your rights,” chanted students outside of the Quick Center for the Arts on November 13.
As names of those who have died due to transgender violence shone across the side of the Quick Center, Spectrum, St. Bonaventure’s LGBT+ alliance, led those attending the event in a chant to show support for those who have lost their lives this year.
A light rain sprinkled, setting the mood for the presentation with people huddled up, hot chocolate in their hands while president of the Student Government Association (SGA), Haylei John, spoke on the topic.
“Tonight, we stand in solidarity and remember members of the trans community that have lost their lives due to hate-fueled violence and to call for greater attention to the fact that members of the trans community continue to face this type of violence each day,” John stated. “We stand here tonight to promote not only awareness but to show the need for greater dialogue and, moreover, action in addressing violence against members of the transgender community. This starts with first acknowledging the issue and making it clear that such hate and violence has no place in our community at Bonaventure. ”
According to Glaad, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, between November 13 and 17, individuals and organizations around the country participated in Transgender Awareness Week to help raise the visibility of transgender and gender non-conforming people.
Not only did the event raise awareness, but kept those who have died in memory and educate those more on the issues that trans people may experience every day with the Trans Day of Remembrance on November 20.
As a spotlight, Spectrum highlighted those who have been elected into government positions as trans people this month along with Danica Roem, a 2006 alumna, and showing that, according to vice president of Spectrum, Bryce Spadafora, “Trans people are not ruled by a single identity. These wins show that. Their constituents voted them based on their policies, hard-work and commitment to their positions.”
The slide show honored Danica Roem, “on her history-making election win as [Spectrum] spotlights her passion as a candidate and her ‘Power as a Bonnie.'” Not only did Roem win against her republican candidate, but Roem became one of the first openly transgender people to be elected into state legislature in the United States.
To conclude the ceremony, Spectrum informed the audience of a petition to allow trans students to get housing that they feel comfortable in and encouraged people to sign.
“Spectrum is working with the school to create gender inclusive housing,” said Anna Giglio, Spectrum treasurer. “We have started this process by creating a petition to show that the St. Bonaventure community wants our school to recognize transgender students and give them housing in which they feel comfortable and accepted,”
According to Giglio, “We plan on meeting with administrators to discuss our demands for creating gender inclusive housing and are in the process of organizing it.”
Spectrum meets every Tuesday during common period in Swan 205. The club is preparing for their fifteenth anniversary this upcoming semester.
“This year is Spectrum’s 15th anniversary,” said Ryan Signorino, public relations representative for Spectrum. “We are planning events in order to celebrate that milestone. If students want to learn more about general LGBTQ+ topics, Google is your friend. There is tons of information available online about sexuality and gender, as well as friendly and supportive communities to help learn more.”