Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

UA organizations observe Transgender Awareness Week

CW / Natalie Teat
The UA Safe Zone Resource Center located in the Student Center.

During Transgender Awareness Week, observed during the week leading up to Transgender Day of Remembrance on Nov. 20, UA organizations are working to provide events and resources to transgender students.  

“Transgender Week of Awareness is a good time to just familiarize ourselves with the state of the world,” Lizzie Smith, director of the Safe Zone, said. “It is also a time to gather with the community and grieve and celebrate resilience and talk what the next steps are to support one another moving forward.” 

The Women and Gender Resource Center has partnered with the UA Queer Student Association to host a gender-affirming clothing drive. Throughout the week, students can bring clean and undamaged clothing to drop-off locations in residence halls. As well as these locations, the WGRC is accepting donations at the center. On Dec. 1, students will have a chance to peruse the clothes to find clothing that fits their gender expression.  

SGA President Collier Dobbs said that the SGA is looking to expand the Crimson Closet to include gender-affirming clothes for rent.  

“The gender-affirming clothing drive, as well as other opportunities such as ally training and the remembrance vigil, are incredibly important efforts that directly support the UA transgender community,” Dobbs said. 

Jackie Northrup, the director of operations and programs at the WGRC, said that this is the second year the center has offered a gender-affirming clothing drive and that the event is important to allow students the opportunity to find clothing without gendered labels. 

The Safe Zone is discussing Transgender Awareness Week in its recurring programs, Cinnamon Rolls Not Gender Roles and Rainbow Connection. However, its main event of the week is an vigil dedicated to Transgender Remembrance Day, which is being held Friday, Nov. 17, from 3 to 5 p.m. on the second floor of the Student Center in the Safe Zone student lounge. 

“If we’re thinking about Transgender Awareness Week, this is a week that leads directly into Trans Day of Remembrance, and it does so intentionally,” Smith said. “So, I think it’s important to remember that this year in the United Sates, we have lost people due to anti-trans violence. I think it’s important for people to remember that most of those people were people of color.” 

Smith said that she wants everyone to have a safe space to process and be around a community while thinking about challenging and upsetting things.  

According to the Human Rights Campaign, at least 26 transgender and gender non-conforming people have had their lives taken in hate crime related deaths as of late October. Of the victims, 88% were people of color, and 54% were Black transgender women.

There are resources year-round at the WGRC, and the Safe Zone offers emotional support and counseling. Along with the QSA, there are organizations in the STEM field and the Law School to help support LGBTQ+ students.  

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