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OMSA to host multiple events for Gender Identity Awareness Week

Gender Identity Awareness Week will be held this year from Monday, Nov. 14 to Sunday, Nov. 20. Spearheaded by the UNH Office of Multicultural Student Affairs (OMSA), events will be arranged and run by a committee comprised of students, faculty and staff members from different departments across the institution.

The overarching goal of Gender Identities Awareness Week is to highlight some of the important and relevant issues relating to various gender identities beyond the binary conflicts. Originally established as an educational tool, OMSA is a collaboration of various volunteers across campus with the hope to create space for people to foster acceptance and awareness of transgender, transsexual and gender queer identities through educational programs, advocacy, visibility and social support.

“November has kind of been noted as gender identity awareness month,” Coordinator of LGBTQA+ Initiatives and OMSA Assistant Director Lu Ferrell said.

As Transgender Day of Remembrance falls annually on Nov. 20, OMSA aims to arrange their week leading up to it. Being recognized nationally since 1999, it’s both a day to memorialize those who have been killed as a result of transphobia and a day to call attention to the violence that the transgender community continues to endure today.

According to the Municipal Equality Index’s Human Rights Campaign, Durham received the highest rank in the state of New Hampshire for having municipal decrees and services in place to secure the rights of individuals living and/or working in the community whom identify as LGBTQ. “My guess is that Durham houses a university and there are more educational opportunities for folks to become aware of different experiences and that tends to lean towards more inclusive spaces,” Ferrell said after receiving a brief synopsis of the study.

List of 2016 Events:

ACLU Button Making Party, on Monday, Nov. 14, 8:30-9:30 p.m. in MUB 336

#RealLifeTransAdult: A panel on being Trans and Working, on Monday, Nov. 14, 7 p.m. in MUB Theater 2.

Featured Speaker– Assigned Male Comics: Artist Sophie Labelle, on Tuesday Nov. 15, 7:30-9 p.m. in MUB 334/336.

Screen Film – “From This Day Forward,” on Wednesday, Nov. 16, 6 p.m. in James Hall room 116.

Queering the Spirit: Transmormon, on Thursday, Nov. 17, 12:40-2 p.m. in MUB 302.

Trans Day of Remembrance Vigil, on Thursday, Nov. 17. Time and location TBD.

We Can Help: Providing Peer Support, on Friday, Nov. 18. Time and location TBD.

Community Event: TRANSforming New Hampshire Healthcare Summit. Date, time and location TBD.

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