Torreyson Library and Outreach and Engagement organized a booth for Transgeder Day of Visibility on Mar. 31, in response to recent bills targeting trangender children.
“The event came together quickly and was absolutely in response to the hateful legislation coming out of the current session in Arkansas,” Jessica Riedmuller, a librarian at Torreyson Library and one of the organizers of the booth, said
The colorful booth included zines containing information on recent legislation affecting transgeder children, as well as various flags and buttons for students to take.
Nathaly Moreno, a graduate student who stopped by the booth, said that while she isn’t a part of the LGBTQ+ community, she “supports it wholeheartedly.”
Reidmuller said that, for the most part, the booth was well received. “I think we had a great turnout for something we didn't publicize too much in advance… Almost everyone I talk to is so open and curious about different expressions of gender and sexuality.”
However, the booth did receive pushback from students who did not agree with its message. “I'm hoping they heard some of what we had to say,” Reidmuller said.
Hannah Henshaw, Americorps Vista and fellow organizer of the booth, said that the motivation was to show students that the university cares about them.
“It was especially important to us this time around to celebrate Trans Day of Visibility as there's a lot of things happening in the state legislature right now that are targeting trans people in particular,” Henshaw said. “We wanted to make sure that we were being visibly supportive and vocally supportive of the community here.”
The booth also offered students the opportunity to write a message about why they chose to celebrate Transgender Day of Visibility. “I’m thrilled with how many we ended up with,” Reidmuller said, adding that even though the event was a response to hate, at its core the booth was intended to celebrate “trans joy and resiliency, which is what Transgedner Day of visibility is all about.”