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QSU, SOR host transgender activist Schofield

Speaker discusses continued issues, discrimination

Transgender Rights advocate Scott Schofield spoke at a vigil Thursday for the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance, co-hosted by Sigma Omicron Rho, the first gender-neutral fraternity on Grounds, and the Queer Student Union. Schofield invoked support for those affected by acts of violence against the transgender community.

“Let’s remember these things,” Schofield said. “Let’s take actions on these things. Let’s not have so much to remember next year.”

Queer Student Union President Sarah Leser and Vice President of Finance Jason Jones read aloud a list of 25 members of the transgender community who “lost their lives to hate this past year,” and were murdered due to their identification as transgender. Leser said the names read were by no means “a complete list” of all the victims. A moment of silence followed the reading.

Third-year College student Connor Roessler, the QSU vice-president for education, called violence against the transgender community “a global issue.”

Transgender people are more likely to commit suicide, a trend which especially affects transgender youth, Schofield said. Schofield spoke of animosity toward transgender people within the LGB community.

“Gay people have rallied for me to be who I am and to be proud of that fact,” Schofield said. “But now, if I’m not gay or lesbian, I find that I have very few brother’s keepers.”

Schofield emphasized intersectional problems within the representation of the transgender community, calling for more portrayals of trans people of color.

“I’m sick of the way queer and transgender stories are more powerful when white people tell them,” Schofield said.

Change surrounding societal norms around gender needs to occur, he said.

“‘Is it a boy or a girl?’ If we stopped asking this question, everything would change,” Schofield said.

The steps to allyship Schofield outlined include avoiding asking questions such as, “Have you had the surgery?” and “Should you be in this bathroom?” Schofield also urged allies to be polite and respectful, particularly when questioning gender and preferred pronouns.