From Vogue to WCU, support for transgender is in

Western Carolina Univeristy’s Department of Intercultural affairs will illustrate the popularity and power of transgender at its second annual TRANSaction Day on Friday, April 1.

Transgender is a term used to describe anyone whose identity or appearance differs from stereotypical expectations of how men and women should act or look.

The New York Times said the year of 2010 will be remembered as the year of transsexual. In the year of 2010 celebrities like James Franco, Marc Jacobs, and Lady Gaga flirted with the “other side”, cross-dressing and posing for fashion publications and advertisements.

Marc Jacobs appeared on the cover of Industrie wearing one of his signature women’s designs with an added accessory, his beard. Japanese Vogue introduced their new male model, Lady Gaga and James Franco covered himself in make-up, heavy jewelry, and a woman’s power suit for the cover of GQ.

WCU and the Department for Intercultural Affairs express similar beliefs and support in the upcoming TRANSaction day event.

 “Our focus this year is to explore the incredible breadth of trans experience and the idea that there is no one way to “be trans” or to “look trans”,” said Yolany Gonell, Associate Director of Programs for Intercultural Affairs.

Transgender Rights have been grazing the news headlines since 1953 when Christine Jorgeson was one of the first known people to undergo sex-reassignment surgery. In the glam era of the 1970’s the media was filled with the mysteries of transgender. Today, transgender still appears in the media but the mystery seems to be replaced with pride and empowerment.

Celebrities and the fashion industry are not the only place to find the fight for transgender. The Department of Intercultural affairs at WCU is taking a stand.

WCU’s TRANSaction Day  is a full day where students, faculty, staff, and community members engage in dialogue on gender, gender roles, and the full range of gender identities. The purpose is to advocate for inclusive, safe schools for all students. This initiative was inspired by the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) and is coordinated by the Department of Intercultural Affairs.

WCU’s TRANSaction Day will hold three events. A Trans 101 lunch from noon-1:30 p.m. where participants can discover what being transgender really means. There is also an opportunity to ask questions to panelists.

Outing transphobia will be held from 3:00 p.m- 4:30 p.m where the issues of transphobia will be discussed through experiences, jokes, questions, and everyday interactions.

To conclude the event, the Tranny Roadshow will be held at 7:00 p.m.-9 p.m. The Tranny Roadshow is a multi-media performance arts extravaganza. It is composed of an eclectic group of artists, each one self-identified as transgender, and includes poets, rappers, filmmakers, storytellers, breakdancers, rock bands, comedians, actors, folk singers, photographers, zinesters, and more.

All sessions will take place in the Blue Ridge Multipurpose Room (across from the Campus Courtyard Dining Hall). This event is free and open to the public.

“Trans identities are not what defines individuals nor are people simply limited by their genders; the reality is that, while being trans can and often does involve hardship, trans lives are not tragedies. We also want to focus on ways people can serve as an ally to students that identify as Trans,” said Gonell.