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Chalk art that says "Hate has no place on campus" written in white, with a rainbow drawn underneath the words.

CONTENT WARNING for conversations of trans antagonism in the post below.

Hi all! As a queer and transgender student and blogger, I am committed to writing candidly about queer life on campus. As such, I wanted to write about some recent events on campus.

This past Monday, April 17th, the College Republicans held an event called "Regrets of a Former Trans Kid" with guest speakers Chole Cole and Dr. Carrie Mendoza. As most transgender folks in the United States know, Republicans often uplift the narratives of detransitioners — who represent less than 3% of all trans people — in order to support their goals of depriving transgender adults and minors alike of gender-affirming healthcare. On their event poster, the College Republicans described Cole's goal as one to "protect children and their innocence," which echoes much of the anti-gay and anti-trans rhetoric that is being used to pass discriminatory laws in state legislatures around the country today.

College Republicans poster advertising their event. Chloe Cole, the main speaker, is pictured. Time, date, and location are listed, as well as a brief bio for Cole.
"Regrets of a Former Trans Kid" event poster

Resilient as ever, the Dartmouth queer community and its allies organized with compassion and determination to create several events in response. 

Event poster advertising an LGBTQIA+ drop-in space with refreshments and activities. Non-binarer and trans pride banners line the top of the poster, and rainbow banners line the bottom, with the OPAL logo in the center.
OPAL LGBTQIA+ Drop-in Space Event Poster

At the same time as the College Republicans event, OPAL (the Office of Pluralism and Leadership) held a LGBTQIA+ Drop-In Space. Though I was unable to attend, I had friends who did, and they told me it was a positive space to slow down, de-stress, and connect with others in an affirming environment. I am very thankful for OPAL and their commitment to the well-being of the queer community here at Dartmouth. 

A student is standing, looking at the camera, holding a poster that says "trans rights." "trans" is written in light pink, "rights" is written in light blue.
Student holding a poster at the Stop Trans Hate protest.

There was a "Stop Trans Hate" demonstration outside of the event's venue. Around 100 people showed up (in the rain no less), held signs, and chanted traditional queer protest chants. Various groups on campus had representatives speak: Spare Rib (the intersectional feminist magazine on campus), Student Workers Collective at Dartmouth (SWCD), Palestine Solidarity Coalition of Dartmouth Students, and the Dartmouth Radical Coalition. Overall, it was uplifting to see students from all corners of campus with different backgrounds and identities come together in support of transgender rights on campus.

A Pride celebration event poster, advertising the opportunity to make pride-themed bracelets and drink tea and/or coffee. The poster says "let's celebrate pride" and has the traditional rainbow colors as well as the trans flag colors on the poster.
Phi Tau Pride Celebration Event Poster

After the protest, Phi Tau (one of three gender-inclusive greek houses at Dartmouth) hosted a Pride Celebration. We listened to upbeat queer tunes, made pride bracelets, drank tea and coffee, and ate homemade muffins. I go to a fair amount of Phi Tau events, so I got to hang out with some existing friends as well as make some new ones. It was a positive end to a stressful day. 

Chalk art that says "Hate has no place on campus" written in white, with a rainbow drawn underneath the words.
Hate Has No Place on Campus Chalk Art

Transgender rights are human rights, and are not up for debate. I am upset that a college-recognized group was allowed to host this event, which was little more than a platform for thinly-veiled hate speech. I hope in the future the college will take steps to prevent events like this from being held by student groups.

At the same time, I am glad there are college and student-run groups alike rallying to resist compassionately and remind transgender students like myself that we are welcome and have a place here at Dartmouth.

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