People fear what they don’t understand and it isn’t intentional; it’s a subconscious reaction that happens naturally. When it comes to the LGBTQ+ community, there are a lot of things that aren’t common knowledge to those who don’t identify with the community.
“The hope is that these kind of events will start conversations between those within the community and people that don’t understand why these events happen,” said third year music major and Director of Associated Student Productions Colin Chinn.
“These events are really important to queer people, and hopefully straight and cisgender people, so that they can learn because I think that when you learn about something [the topic] is less scary and less fear inducing for people,” said Chinn. “They don’t understand something, so that upsets them. So the hope is that these kind of events will educate people and also bring support to people that don’t get it anywhere else.”
On Thursday, ASP partnered up with Queer-Straight Alliance to put on Trans Day of Visibility.
“The whole point of this event in general is recognizing that we have trans individuals in our community, here on campus, and in our wider community of Rohnert park and Santa Rosa,” Chinn said. “This event gives them that platform to exist and for non-trans identifying people to see that. Also to give resources for the trans individuals in our community.”
This event is relatively new to the Sonoma State University campus.
“We started last year doing Trans Day of Remembrance which is a completely different holiday,” said third year psychology major and Vice President of QSA, Momo Bindra. “We wanted to do Trans Day of Visibility this year especially with everything that has happened politically this year we wanted to focus more on being hopeful and happy.”
Eli Nevel, fourth year environmental studies and planning major and outreach coordinator for QSA, also spoke about the transition from Sonoma State holding the event on Trans Day of Remembrance to holding the event on Trans Day of Visibility.
“It is an event that is focused more on the positives of being in the Transgender community. Usually there is a really big focus on the suicide rates and murders in the trans community, which is obviously relevant but it is still important to recognize that we are still people and we still have accomplishments and there are pros to being in the community,” Nevel said.
The event ran from noon until around 9 p.m. Throughout the day there was a screening of HBO’s “The Trans List” followed by a panel with speakers from Positive Images, an organization who provides support and advocacy to Sonoma County’s LGBTQ+ youth and young adults, as well as a speaker from Sonoma State.
Other events during the day included a resource fair, student speakers, a march through the residential communities and the night ended with a celebration mixer.
“The atmosphere has been wonderful,” Chinn said. “Everyone has been really supportive and we have had a good turnout. Everybody is just really excited and willing to learn and willing to work with each other.”
Those interested in joining QSA are more than welcome.
“We are pretty open to everyone and we usually get new faces every time,” Nevel said.
“It is a very open group. If something is currently happening in the news we talk about that or sometimes speakers come to talk but it pretty much varies from week to week,” said Chinn, also a member of QSA.
The group meets on Fridays from noon to 1 p.m. in the HUB, which is located on the second floor of the Student Center.
For those interested in Positive Images, they are located at 200 Montgomery Drive Suite C, Santa Rosa or they can be contacted at (707)568-5830 or at www.posimiges.org.