ASU recognizes Trans Awareness Week

The week will feature events for transgender students and allies to find resources, network and celebrate community

The week in November leading up to Transgender Day of Remembrance on Nov. 20 is recognized around the country as Transgender Awareness Week, and ASU is offering a week of events for transgender students and their allies. 

These events are to promote community and campus resources while offering enjoyable activities for students, said Samuel Potter, a sophomore majoring in Japanese and the director of finance for Rainbow Coalition.

“We are putting these events on for the information to go out and for people to enjoy themselves,” Potter said. “These are networking and inclusive and fun things (students) can do.”

ASU’s various LGBT+ student organizations will be offering activities on all four main campuses, with most of the events taking place in Tempe.

Rainbow Coalition kicks off Trans Awareness Week with a campus resources event on Nov. 13 and will continue the week with Spirit Walk on Nov. 15 in partnership with the American Indian Council.

According to Gayatri Girirajan, a geography sophomore and president of Rainbow Coalition, the Spirit Walk is a fashion show and also part of Native American Heritage Month celebrations. It will feature transgender models as well as indigenous models and fashion designers.

Girirajan said the week of events was designed for transgender students to find resources and a community, but that it is also a chance for all students to learn about transgender issues and recognize that there is a trans community at ASU.

“I think the most important thing that non-trans students can do is to show up and both engage and educate themselves and also show trans students that there is a community of allies to support them," she said.

Rainbow Coalition is also sponsoring a two-part TransTalk event on Nov. 17 with non-binary LGBT+ activist and author Jeffrey Marsh. The first event will be a workshop for teachers and faculty on how to communicate with LGBT+ students.

“The first part will be a chance for me to talk and get questions and interface with some of the staff and teachers at ASU so that we can create a more inclusive environment for trans and all LGBT young adults,” Marsh said.

The second part will be open for students and the community to eat lunch, ask questions, and meet new people, and it will feature a panel with Marsh and transgender students who volunteer.

Marsh said the main point they want students to take away from the event is to be themselves and let go of the notion that something is wrong with them.

“There is nothing wrong with you – that is the core of all the work that I do with all the people on planet earth …” Marsh said. “The reason that message is so important, especially for Trans Day and Week of Remembrance, there’s nothing wrong with trans people, either.”

Throughout the week, the Downtown LGBT+ group CONFETTI is sponsoring a trivia night where students are encouraged to wear ugly sweaters and learn about the transgender community, a film screening of “The Danish Girl” and a Transgender Day of Remembrance event. 

Read More: New LGBT student organizations come to two ASU campuses

Tyler Teachman, a criminal justice sophomore and secretary for CONFETTI, said the group will be hosting a vigil and friends-giving event on Nov. 20 on the downtown phoenix campus. 

“We are planning to have candles, and for all the trans people who have been killed this year, having their faces and pictures of them and their names somewhere, somehow," Teachman said.

Students can view the full list of events here and visit Out@ASU’s homepage for transgender student resources.

Editor’s note: Samuel Potter has no relation to the author.

Reach the reporter at and follow @abpotter4 on Twitter. 

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