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I could really use some feedback on this, because I’m not sure what to do. I’m mostly writing this blog post to work out the pros and the cons for myself. I’m trying to work on my remarks for tomorrow’s Transgender Day of Remembrance event. I really want to hit home the point of the two recent murders of young people who are being portrayed by the media as gay men, erasing the facts that their murders were predicated on their perceived gender identities. That’s another issue altogether, and one that is very important.

I got an email today from a staff writer for the undergrad school paper, The Spectrum. He wanted to know more details about the event I am organizing tomorrow because he is assigned to cover it for the paper. I told him I wanted to meet, and we talked a little bit, but I remain unconvinced. I am not sure if I want a cis man speaking for a community I belong to that is entirely invisibilized on this campus.

The pros in his favor are not just that he is a gateway to a campus media outlet. It’s also that he was willing to come meet with me and talk a little about the sensitivity of the issue. He was clearly worried about the issue and said he would run things by me before publication. He was respectful, perhaps a little apologetic for my tastes, but he genuinely wanted to report the events in a way that respected the event and the lives it commemorates.

On the other hand I feel like I should be writing an Op-Ed for this paper. I don’t think the first interface with the invisible trans community on this campus should be via a cis reporter. Rather, it should be straight from the horse’s mouth. It also bugs me that this report won’t run until next week as opposed to the day of, which is something an Op-Ed could do. (I guess it didn’t even occur to me to send one in since I never see the undergrad paper anyway, my bad.)

I’m also concerned that his studious notetaking will inhibit those in attendance who need this event to be a safe space to think about and reflect on the most extreme expressions of cis privilege and hateful violence. I’m worried it’ll detract from the event.  But, I want the campus to know that people who are a part of our community really and honestly care about this issue. I want to see a dialogue started about it. And I don’t want to trivialize it.

Ultimately, though, this event is about making a safe place for us to reflect and think about the future, not about teaching others about the community. Voz Latina pointed this out to me, and I think she is right. I still hold this latent feeling that we need to make this an obvious issue that people on campus care about.

Do you see my frustration and conflict?

As I write this I lean toward telling him not to come. What should I do?



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