The Student News Site of Chatham University


The Student News Site of Chatham University


The Student News Site of Chatham University


Chatham screens "Just Gender" for Transgender Day of Remembrance

Since the murder of transgendered woman, Rita Hester, in 1999–to honor those who lost their lives in a similar fashion and protest violence against transgender and gender variant peoples–Transgender Day of Remembrance is held.

In the time leading up to this day, on November 23, in collaboration with Pittsburgh’s Gay and Lesbian Community Center and the Association for Women in Psychology, Chatham University’s Psychology of Research Team presented “Just Gender,” a documentary that explored the complexities of being a transgendered person. The documentary was shown on November 14 at 6 p.m. in Eddy Theatre.

The documentary set out to dispel myths, educate, and represent a variety people on the gender spectrum. The interviewees in “Just Gender” consisted of transgendered and gender variant people, psychologists, lawyers, activists, parents, and spouses.

Some individuals shared stories of knowing about their gender identity as young as the age of five; others did not come out until their sixties. Parents of transgendered people discussed and interviewed in the film ranged from very supportive to deeply ashamed.

Pronouns, poverty, medical care (or lack there of), rights, discrimination, and the search for a community were discussed.

A common theme within the documentary was the way that because of gender roles transgendered people are often categorized as being gay or lesbian.

“Sexual Orientation is who you wanna sleep with; Gender is who you wanna sleep as,” said one expert.

“Just Gender” highlighted the reality that even in 2014 very few laws exist to protect transgendered people from discrimination. Transgendered women are victims of violence and presumed to be involved in prostitution. Only 16 states currently have laws prohibit discrimination based on gender identity.

Many of the interviewees admitted to feeling suicidal at certain points in their lifetimes.

“I think the idea of suppressing who you are is unfathomable to most people,” one woman said. “Gender Identity is so fundamental to personal identity.”

With the expense of medical resources sometimes needed to transition from one gender to another, transitioning can be extremely difficult.

“Transgender people are the most unique, and interesting people, but they’re also one of the most marginalized populations that routinely experience a level of hatred and discrimination that most people could never imagine,” said Jason Lucarelli of the Counseling Psychology program, who secured the funding for the event. “And more often than not, trans people are victims of homophobia and many did not identify as gay prior to their transition.”

Leave a Comment

Comments (0)

All Communiqué Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *