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Rutgers University Celebrates Transgender Community With Transweek

Transweek runs through Nov. 16.

A special weeklong discussion and celebration of the transgender community has begun at  Rutgers University.

Organized by the Center for Social Justice Education and LGBT Communities at Rutgers University, Transweek is a discussion of the state of the transgender community and the issues facing it.

The week is open to students and the community, and will feature a multi-media art exhibit on display each day, entitled "(Un)heard: Transmasculine People of Color Speak," a film screening, and a lecture.

Participants in Transweek should expect "excitement and beauty and resilience" within its offerings, said Zaneta Rago, Assistant Director of the Center for Social Justice Education and LGBT Communities.

The art exhibit is particularly noteworthy, as it features recordings of the voices of transgender people telling their own stories, Rago said.

Exhibit co-creator Asher Kolieboi will give a lecture at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 14 at the Douglass Campus Center.

The exhibit is on display from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Nov. 16 in room 247 of Tillett Hall on Livingston Campus, Rago said. It is free and open to the public.

Keynote speaker Janet Mock took the microphone at the Douglass Campus Center on Tuesday night to discuss her experience living as a transgender woman and the change she hopes to bring as a budding voice in the field of advocacy for transgender people.

A native of Honolulu, Mock was born male and had gender reassignment surgery when she was 18.

Her name became nationally known when she announced to the world her status as a transgender woman in a June 2011 story in Marie Claire magazine.

"That article changed my life," Mock said, who now lives in New York City, where she is a writer and advocate for transgender women.

In addition to discussing her own life journey, Mock discussed such transgender rights pioneers as Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson.

She also talked about her hopes to change conversation about transgender women in particular, to begin more often with "she is" as opposed to "she was".

Discussions of transgender women too often refer to them after they have been killed, she said, particularly transgender women of color.

"I don't have many elders," she said.

Other problems facing the transgender community include negative or marginalized portrayal in mainstream media, and divisions between gay and lesbian and transgender communities, she said.

Rutgers University recently set a new milestone by opening its first class to focus specifically on transgender issues: "Introduction to Transgender Studies" is a class offered by the Department of Gender and Women's Studies.

Mock showed photos of a number of contributing, happy and active transgender women, and urged attendees to remain active in being transgender advocates, and always try to move the conversation forward.

A full schedule of events for Transweek can be found here.

JOEL 5454 November 14, 2012 at 01:04 PM
You got to be kidding me,being transgender is a mental problem,can you imagine having a men to impersonate a women and call that being normal! they will put you in jail if you try to go into a women bathroom dress like a women,in other county's if you did this they will know that you must be from AMERICA that has no morals at all!
JOEL 5454 November 14, 2012 at 01:06 PM
There will be a negative image,period its suppose to be,what is so normal about anyone who do not except who they are!
JOEL 5454 November 14, 2012 at 01:09 PM
Fraud by Deception is intentional Fraud by Deception PERIOD!
JOEL 5454 November 14, 2012 at 01:21 PM
Can you imagine the New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and the gay, Rev Al Sharpton wanted to change into Women ha ha ha ha I would love to see this happen,Maybe they can have a sex change while they are at it! ha ha ha , I will ask the Governor of New Jersey would he sign an executive order to have this to be part of the education system in New Jersey! ha ha ha I can't wait till we see him ask him about this. We know Rev Al Sharpton of MSNBC is Gay all day long he will indorse this for a price!
Amelia November 14, 2012 at 04:39 PM
I'm sorry, but it's hard to take your comment seriously when there is one grammatical error for every four words.
I'm gay November 14, 2012 at 09:35 PM
Joel you are very ignorant to be in a world that is so diversed. You talk about what a mental illnesses is/should be; what other countries do; and what America does. With this much knowledge, you should very well know that half of that bs isn't relevant. You can check the latest DSM or just do some scholarly research. Nonetheless, you should be acclimated to tthe movement of lgbtq community and know that we are no longer staying in the dark . Now, in the words of Sylvia, "[You] better quiet down."
JOEL 5454 November 15, 2012 at 12:02 PM
TO I'M GAY Watch your comments you hear me,this world is not the world you want it to be PERIOD! you are a very sick person PERIOD if you don't like it what the hell are you going to do about it PERIOD! Black Men in New Jersey all agree with me,you have a mental illnesses,you don't believe in God Laws,you believe your research is fact your research has nothing to do with the African Americans in New jersey! When you see what we black men in New Jersey are going to do about this New Jersey,the LGBTQ community will be single out and we dare them to come to a black school and debate us in front of the media and prove to the world that its normal for you and the rest of you to do what is sick against gods laws and is not healthy PERIOD-AIDS! you better Quiet down this is not the slavery days where your culture did not help black men from being hang,or shot at,where was your so-call gay rights movement then! So we don't want you to stay in the dark we want all of you to come out so we can warned all the children and everyone who you are!
JOEL 5454 November 15, 2012 at 12:16 PM
Why don't you all meet all of us, in a all black high school that's want we want,we want to show everyone who all of you are,please don't stay in the Dark that's what we want trust me with this. this is New Jersey not Hollywood where they are actors who act like they are women and men! Why don't you ask the Governor to change the education system and teach the public about freaks. I have a civil right to say what I want to say,I will died for what I believe in like my culture and my ancestors did! How about lgbtq community ,We will have hearings about this in Washington and New Jersey all of you better be there! We already warned Al Sharpton and the N.A.A.C.P. that they don't represent Black People,they represent Illegals and Gays Period!
JOEL 5454 November 15, 2012 at 12:28 PM
TO AMELIA Who do you think you are to comment about grammatical error for every four words. What are you going to do about it,nothing and you know it! You are not as important to me that I have to watch my errors,you must be white,I can tell your just like your ancestors that loves to tell black people what to do how to do it! Sorry but I don't give a Damn what the hell you say-OK! you know what I mean and I am not alone with any of my statements,you and your community will see all of us black men soon,when we debate this! Hows that this will happen we have talk to churches about this and they all agreed its about time PERIOD! make sure you and your community are there!
Bianca November 15, 2012 at 07:42 PM
little known fact: 5454 is actually the number of brain cells he loses per second. down with mysogyny and transphobia!

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