Upward Bound Awareness of LGBTQ Issues Students Gain
On Saturday October 29, girls from MCC’s Upward Bound (UB) program attended an event geared towards understanding gender identity hosted by Women Helping Girls (WHG).
Several panelists, all transgender women, described their life’s journey towards taking on the gender they believe truly represents who they are. All three speakers experienced isolation from their communities including some of their family members upon making their gender transitions. Each panelist came from a different background including growing up in the 1970s with a lack information on the LGBTQ community, being born and raised in the Philippines, and having a twin sister to compare identities with. “It was interesting that they came from strict cultures that didn’t accept them for who they are. They just had to deal with the criticisms of their time,” UB student Isabel reflected.
With each story, they expressed the need for acceptance, respect, and recognition of human worth. The panelists also shared experiences about bullying, suicide attempts, medical treatment, preferred pronouns, faith communities, and activism. Most importantly, the panelists and host, Gaynelle Wethers, wanted to make their audience aware of issues in the LGBTQ community and how to rise above discrimination and stigmas. After the panelist’ delivered their testimonies, audience members asked questions about how to address these issues further and described some of their own experiences and beliefs. In conclusion, this event was a great lesson on the need to treat everyone how we as individuals want to be treated.
MCC Upward Bound Program