Campus Life

Documentary teaches students acceptance of transgender community

Students filled the room to learn more about the transgender community in a screening of the documentary “Trans” on Thursday night in the College of Business Auditorium.

The Office of Diversity and Community hosted the hour-long documentary to inform people about the transgender community.

The film was directed by Chris Arnold and released in 2012.

“Trans” follows the lives of multiple transgender individuals as they deal with discovering, changing and accepting who they are.

A transgender person is an individual who identifies differently from his birth-assigned gender. Individuals make their life changes at different ages; some are accepted while others not.

The documentary begins with the story of Lt. Commander Christopher McGinn.

McGinn, highly active in the military for many years and asked to partake in NASA missions, married a woman as a birth-assigned man.

McGinn said she always felt uncomfortable in the gender genetically assigned to her, so she made the transformation into a female.

McGinn now goes by Christine and works as a plastic and reconstructive surgeon who helps other transgender people make their physical transformation.

She and her second wife currently have two twins that are both genetically theirs.

“Trans” also follows the story of a seven-year-old boy named Danann who knew she was meant to be female at age two.

After becoming educated on the concept of transgender individuals, Danann’s parents allowed her to live as the girl she knows herself to be.

Danann’s parents thought something they had done might have influenced their child’s mindset. However, the film presents a message that, identifying is not a problem or decision; it is how they feel they were meant to be born.

Two men in the film had top and bottom reconstructive surgery to change their physical transformation to female.

The film provided brief medical information about how the process works.

Many transgender individuals were interviewed for the film. While the individuals had different stories, many of them faced problems with acceptance.

Reesa Ramsahai, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) and women’s issues outreach coordinator, said the transgender community it not new.

“It’s been around [and]it’s going to continue to be around,” she said. “It is not a choice. It’s what’s on the inside that matters.”

Students filled the auditorium seating for the movie. Some students even sat on the steps.

Multiple groups were present at the event, including the Feminist Union, Pagans United and Prism.

Sophomore Daniel Grayling said, “I’m overwhelmingly pro-LGBT in every possible way so I wasn’t swayed by the message, but I did appreciate it.”

Ramsahai spoke about equality and acceptance in the community as well as UCA resources that are available to students for any questions.

A New Sound in Arkansas

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