By Tate Luckey and Joe Wilson
On Feb. 28, students gathered outside Grawemeyer Hall to protest the university’s handling of recent incidents involving transgender students.
The U of L Trans Rights Alliance (ULTRA) and the Sexuality and Gender Alliance (SAGA) hosted the event, in which students chalked messages around campus in support of the transgender community.
U of L’s Statement
The protest comes a day after the university released a statement expressing regret for the incidents as well as U of L’s commitment to remaining an LGBTQ-friendly institution. It was met with widespread confusion and criticism in the comments, with many claiming that these two recent incidences are subject to a larger issue.
“Aware of 2 incidents??? I watched the individuals that “signed off” on this embarrassment of a statement listen to story after story of trans/gnc/nb students facing cisgenderism and heterosexism on this campus by other students, faculty and staff. These are the same individuals that heard a multitude of these stories and said nothing. Acknowledged nothing. Apologized for nothing. Accounted for nothing. Your silence is loud. Your silence is violent,” user savannahmquach wrote.
Many who attended the protest, which had approximately 80 people, expressed their disdain and frustration with the university’s sentiments. The leaders of ULTRA highlighted the particular issues that trans students encounter when interacting with housing policies and staff.
“These policies include forcing trans students to go through a months-long process in order to live in designated housing spaces matching their gender identity rather than their assigned gender at birth,” they told The Cardinal.
“Often, even after spending months pursuing a proper housing designation, some students are forced to endure further humiliation by being outed, misgendered, and deadnamed by housing staff while living on campus.”
The Chalking Continues
Moth Sanchez, the co-president of SAGA, addressed the crowd outside Grawemeyer. “Like many of you, I have experienced transphobia on this campus. I came to U of L specifically because of its supposed friendliness to queer students. That status has been shattered in my eyes, in large part due to this university’s inaction. The university administration sees us. They know we’re here, and they know what we’re fighting for. Their inaction is purposeful.”
Pictured below is some of the chalk messaging written in front of Grawemeyer Hall.
Instagram user jen_erocity acknowledges that while some may see the chalk messages as “something stupid”, the fact that it gets erased in the first place is the more important issue.
“When something as little as chalking for our community is getting silenced, we have to keep going. We’re all here and we all just want to exist here in peace, but our peace is being disrupted and our voices are being ignored,” they wrote.
File Photos // The Louisville Cardinal //