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Trans Awareness Month begins November 1

Ryerson events explore the trans experience through art, fashion, film, athletics and more
October 30, 2018
A Ryerson community member holding a Transgender Pride flag

The Trans Awareness Month Kick-Off on November 1 launches a month of workshops, educational opportunities, art and film at Ryerson. Photo by Clifton Li.

November 1 is the start of Trans Awareness Month 2018, and Ryerson Positive Space is inviting all faculty, staff and students to participate in a month of advocacy and educational events to celebrate, honour and raise the visibility of the trans community.

The annual Trans Awareness Month Kick-Off (Nov. 1, noon-12:30 p.m.) has become an important part of Ryerson’s calendar. Remarks take place at the Nelson Mandela Walk by the bridge between Jorgenson and Kerr Hall, where a 20 foot banner will be installed for the month.

Immediately following the kick-off is the Sumaya Dalmar Scholarship Launch (Nov. 1, 12:30-2 p.m., Thomas Lounge Oakham House). Named in honour of the late community activist Sumaya Dalmar, this award was developed by alumnus Lali Mohamed and offers an annual sum of $1,000 to support racialized trans students at Ryerson.

There are two opportunities to take part in a Trans 101 Workshop: Nov. 5, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., or Nov. 15, noon to 1:30 p.m.. This interactive workshop will identify barriers to supporting trans students, faculty and staff and provide strategies for making Ryerson a safer campus for trans community members. Another educational opportunity, Trans Inclusion in the Classroom (Nov. 7, 1-2:30 p.m.), will teach participants how to foster more inclusive learning environments inside and outside the lecture hall. Please register in advance for these workshops.

On Trans Day of Remembrance, the Ryerson Library will screen Sex, Spirit, Strength (Nov. 20, 2-3 p.m., SLC 508). This powerful documentary follows Michael and Jack, two young Indigenous men who learn to shed the stigma and shame associated with their sexual health and gender identity.

Other events focus on the cutting-edge contributions of trans people in art and culture. Transdressing: Trans Inclusion in Clothing Design and Fashion (Nov. 28, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., POD 250) is a panel discussion that addresses the joys and challenges of dressing while trans and non-binary, as well as the innovations and creativity these identities have inspired. All month at the Ryerson Image Centre, Jason Perreault: Bien Dans sa Peau, external link showcases the many and varied characteristics of gender-queer people through the tropes of contemporary fashion photography.

Recognizing that sport spaces have a long history of being unwelcoming to and unsafe for gender non-conforming and trans folks, Ryerson Athletics has undertaken specific initiatives to make their space more welcoming throughout the month of November. Initiatives include weekly ‘Trans & Allies’ group fitness classes, free welcome visits, inclusive and accessible change spaces, and more. For more information, visit Ryerson Athletics, external link.

Finally, the Ryerson campus will be showing its pride all month long with RyeLights. Stroll by the Ryerson Image Centre in the evening and you’ll notice the building has been lit up purple, pink and blue in honour of Trans Awareness Month.

For more information on Trans Awareness Month at Ryerson, visit Ryerson Positive Space.

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