SRU’s TRANSaction provides a safe place where transgender students and allies come together to socialize, support each other and work to combat transphobic injustice.
“TRANSaction was created to help bridge the gap between our community and the school’s cisgender faculty,” club president and senior Abbott Mattocks said.
In addition to hosting meetings, the group also sponsors events and works on local volunteer projects.
One event was an annual candlelit vigil to commemorate people who have either committed suicide or been killed in acts of anti-transgender violence this past year.
The event took place on Nov. 17, and began with information about attacks against the transgender community. According to Mattocks, they also discussed “some of the intersections that make it so hard to exist as a trans person.”
Appointed members then listed the names of all 66 known people who had died at the hands of transphobia in 2022 so far, along with photos of each victim. They also listed the victims’ ages, locations and causes of death.
“It was really emotional for a lot of people,” Mattocks said. “It was really moving. Some of the people in the photos were in their 60s, and some were as young as 14.”
Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance, RockOUT and Black Action Society co-sponsored the event along with TRANSaction.
The vigil also honored Transgender Day of Remembrance, which took place on Nov. 20.
Other than the memorial event, the club has been working on collecting money to sponsor a gift for a lower-income child through The ELF Project.
“The other half of our club is more social,” Mattocks said. “A lot of people say that this is one of the few places where they really feel like they can relax and be themselves. … We’ve also had people join because they hoping to find a roommate.”
Several university committees, such as the Office for Inclusive Excellence, have reached out to TRANSaction for advice on making the school more transgender friendly.
“They finally updated the chosen name policy,” Mattocks said, “so I think we’re making progress toward positive change.”