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Trans Girl Magic: Humanizing All Identities

Event on campus teaches women how to overcome adversity and oppression.

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Trans Girl Magic: Humanizing All Identities

Taj Jackson opens up the meeting with an ice breaker.

Taj Jackson opens up the meeting with an ice breaker.

Allen Flores

Taj Jackson opens up the meeting with an ice breaker.

Allen Flores

Allen Flores

Taj Jackson opens up the meeting with an ice breaker.

Mary Pace, Contributor

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Last Thursday, Cal State LA’s Cross Cultural Centers (CCC) hosted Trans Girl Magic: Feminism, Gender Justice and Trans Inclusion last Thursday.

The event began with students learning about influential activists such as Marsha P. Johnson, Lavern Cox and Carmen Carrera. Karla Glasgow, an Anthropology student, looked forward to the event:

“I’m in the queer connection club and my expectation is ‘I’m excited!’ I usually don’t go to these events, so I’m happy to hear other people’s experiences, especially about the queer community.”

Following the activity, a panel of speakers including Edxie Betts, Talia Bettcher and Alexandria Edwards discussed feminism, gender justice and trans women inclusion.

Bettcher, a Professor of Philosophy at Cal State LA and trans rights activist, highlighted the importance of focusing on building coalitions for strong support groups rather than changing non-inclusive perspectives:

“There have always been very vocal non-trans feminists who don’t want to include trans women because they qualify as men. It’s important to understand that there’s a long history of leading feminists who include trans people.

To Bettcher, it’s more important to build together as a group than to change one’s beliefs:

“There’s going to be non-transgenders who will be homophobic, and people can sometimes be entrenched in their ways. Changing them is not a good strategy. Feminists interested in coalition building is where we need to spend our energies in.”

Their discussion also explored the idea that gender expression and women’s empowerment can become a part of the broader feminist project of creating gender justice.

Edxie Betts, an independent organizer for intersectional causes, talked about how owning one’s space is a liberating break from the confines of labels:

“In terms of colonization and how aspects of gender have been imposed on particular ways of knowing and being, it’s imperative not to get wrapped up in westernized ways of the binary. When it comes to making space for ourselves, it’s up to trans people to take up that space and reclaim the position that we want to have that’s lost.”

They also offered different perspectives for trans women in the workplace and how academia can support them.

Alexandria Edwards, a San Francisco native currently studying Pan African Studies and Psychology at Cal State LA, believes that confidence is the key to success in the workplace:

“I think that confidence is important. As long as you’re sure of who you are, we have no choice but to accept it. Trans women should be included.”

For women of varying genders, race, sexual orientation and background, empowerment is critical to overcoming oppression.

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