The Glendon Women and Trans Centre, an autonomous student organization, hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony on November 24 to celebrate its new, more broadly inclusive name. Formerly known as the Glendon Women's Centre, the new name reflects the Centre’s intention to publicize the fact that it welcomes not just women, but anyone who is transgendered or transsexual and, more broadly, all those whose gender identity or gender expression is at variance with their assigned sex.
Members and others celebrate new name with cake
“This is an important day for the Centre”, said Kate Welsh, the Centre’s coordinator “because it fills a need on this campus which has not been fully addressed until now. Trans people are often marginalized by society in some of the most basic areas, such as housing, health care and education. By adding ‘trans’ to the Centre’s name, we make it clear that we are providing a safe and positive space, not only for women, but also for trans-gendered, trans-sexual students, as well as advocating for them. Trans and women’s rights go hand in hand – they are basic human rights. Bringing the fight for trans rights and women's rights together can strengthen our communities and build new relationships. It can provide new insights and bring allies to fight oppression.”
On Dec. 6th, the Centre organized a commemorative program for the 20th anniversary of the Montreal massacre of 1989 and its victims, under the title "A Call to the World to End Violence against Women". The Centre has a number of programs planned including a body image group, a clothing swap, some movie nights and participation in the annual V Day. Other projects include various activities for Women’s Month next March, and a petition for the campus Go Safe program to be reinstated to its former functioning until 2 a.m.
Left: Centre coordinator Kate Welsh cuts ribbon
The celebration was attended by Glendon Associate Principal (Student Services) Rosanna Furgiuele and Manager of Student Affairs Aaron Doupe. Several representatives of the Keele Campus’ Centre for Human Rights were also in attendance, including community outreach coordinator Darren Edwards and School of Social Work placement student Russell Pahl. “Gender issues can get lost in a smaller setting and it’s great that Glendon is moving ahead on this”, said Edwards. “The Centre’s new name brings focus on marginalized groups and advocating on their behalf is a very important feature”, added Pahl.
Jess Morris, a member of the Glendon Centre, emphasized the importance of the new name. “Most people don’t know the meaning of ‘trans’. Including trans people in the name of the Centre makes them feel accepted, included, not judged, and offers them a safe and comfortable space.”
Located in Room D124 in Hilliard Residence, the Centre is in the process of creating a website, with the help and participation of members Simone Samuels and Brittaney Caron. Other means of getting information about them is by joining their facebook or getting on their mailing list.
Article submitted by Glendon communications officer Marika Kemeny