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Drew Acorn: Transgender acceptance promoted

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  • UMAffirmation
    Transgender acceptance promoted Copy Desk Chief Published: Friday, September 24, 2010 Updated: Friday, September 24, 2010 03:09 Requests from students for
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 27, 2010
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      Transgender acceptance promoted
      Copy Desk Chief
      Published: Friday, September 24, 2010
      Updated: Friday, September 24, 2010 03:09

      Requests from students for better transgender education on Drew's campus has
      prompted the administration to undertake a training program for faculty and
      staff. The training session, held Thursday, Sept. 23 in U.C. 107, aided
      members of the community in understanding both the issues that transgender
      people face and the language to use when addressing them.

      Associate Dean of Campus Life and Student Affairs Frank Merckx, who
      spearheaded the program, was hopeful. "It will be about understanding
      terminology and. taking some of the student experiences here. We all believe
      we offer a certain service, and we want to see what the reality is," he
      said. According to Merckx, the session will help address "everything from
      gender-neutral housing, to bathrooms, to names on ID cards."

      Representative of the The Bryson Institute of the Attic Youth Center J.
      Mason, who led the session, expressed his overarching message. "Who we are
      as LGBT people is valid because of our experience. If you're in a place to
      support students, I can help you," he said. Mason discussed rates of
      suicide, depression and drug use among transgender people and highlighted
      the importance of the program. "It's really about safety. I want to save
      kids' lives." He summed up, with a question, the reasons for such issues:
      "What do you do when you have to hold back, when you're not sure what the
      reception will be?" The slogan of the session was "I see you, I hear you, I
      respect you," and much of the focus was geared toward traversing the stages
      of acceptance of trans identities. He described these stages as "repulsion,
      disdain, pity, tolerance, acceptance, support, nurturance and affirmation."
      "The difference of where you are on this list," he explained, "is
      intention."

      Dean of Campus Life and Student Affairs Sara Waldron explained her hopes for
      the program. "It will. help people understand some of the barriers facing
      transgender persons," she said. "I think moving toward becoming a more
      inclusive campus has to do with raising awareness. That's true of any issue
      whether it's class, race, disabilities, first-generation students or
      veterans on campus."

      The rest of the article is here:
      http://www.drewacorn.com/news/transgender-acceptance-promoted-1.1646027
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