GSA, School Honors Transgender Day of Remembrance

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Dessie Bell-Kamen, Writer

In honor of yesterday’s Transgender Day of Remembrance, the Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA) has launched efforts to raise money and awareness regarding threats of violence and prejudice that the trans community faces.

According to the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LBGTQ+ civil rights organization, this far into 2019, violent acts have caused at least 22 transgender or gender non-conforming deaths.

The GSA held a two-day bake sale and a dress down day to raise money for GLSEN, a non-profit organization that works to ensure that schools are safe and supportive environments for LGBTQ+ youth.

The organization has “brought record support to the Safe Schools Improvement Act and the Student Non-Discrimination Act and fought discriminatory legislation in over 15 states,” according to its web site.

Transgender Day of Remembrance was first held in honor of Rita Hester, a black transgender woman, whose murder launched the Remembering Our Dead web project.

“We felt it was important to bring the Transgender Day of Remembrance to Brimmer in order to create more conversation about such an important topic,” GSA Co-President Ella Meranus ’20 said. “We thought hosting a bake sale and dress down day was the best way to get students involved and aware.”

During Upper School morning meeting, Senate President Stephen Moreno Jimenez ’20 led a moment of silence in honor of those who have lost their lives due to their gender identity.

For assembly, yesterday, transgender author Alex Myers addressed the Middle and Upper Schools about gender identity and his new book, Continental Divide, about a newly out transgender teen.

Author Alex Myers talks about transgender identity during Wednesday’s assembly. Photo by Carl Vallely.

Director of Innovation and Design Kathryn Lee, who met Myers in 2006 while working together at a boarding school in Rhode Island, said, “I am always so impressed when I hear Alex speak. His clear, articulate, honest, and captivating way of describing complicated topics is inspirational to me as an educator and human being. The connection he makes with the audience creates an atmosphere of comfort and trust—the perfect setting for sharing, learning, and growing.”

Last week, students also recognized Transgender Awareness Week, which is a weeklong celebration that leads up to the Transgender Day of Remembrance.