Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Gender “Repeal” Party

The importance of Trans Day of Visibility
Shilpa Sweth/ Daily Collegian (2023)

On March 31, the University of Massachusetts Stonewall Center held a Gender “Repeal” Party to celebrate Trans Day of Visibility. This day aims to bring awareness to and celebrate people who identify as transgender.

According to the Human Rights Campaign, every year on March 31, International Transgender Day of Visibility celebrates “the joy and resilience of trans and non-binary people everywhere by elevating voices and experiences from these communities.”

At UMass, the Stonewall Center hosts various events that bring people together for the LGBTQ+ community. The program was originally established in 1985 as an administrative office in Student Affairs, but 10 years later the program was rebranded as “The Stonewall Center.” It was the third center of its kind on a college campus, serving as a model for many other colleges and universities.

The Gender “Repeal” Party had snacks, cake and a game encouraging its participants to be whoever they wanted to be for a night. A majority of the individuals who attended identified themselves as transgender or non-binary, though allies were also present.

Junior Sailor Cicchetti is majoring in social thought and political economy and women, gender, and sexuality. They have been working with the Stonewall Center for two semesters and helped host the Gender “Repeal” party.

“It’s kind of just a place for people to hang out [and] have fun … it’s a place for trans people to have fun on the trans day of visibility,” Cicchetti said when asked about the party.

Stonewall Center Director, Genny Beemyn, also helped organize the event. Trans Visibility Day, “was created to celebrate trans and non-binary people so that we would be recognized. We have the Trans Day of Remembrance in November, [which] recognizes trans people who have been killed because of who they are [and] their gender identity/expression,” Beemyn said. “This was a way to honor trans people and to be more visible and to call attention to our lives and our experiences.”

In order to honor and celebrate those who have fought for the LGBTQ+ community, Beemyn said that the community needs to celebrate these days — especially considering that more than 300 bills have been introduced since the beginning of 2023 that target LGBTQ+ rights and queer life.

With an increase in anti-trans rhetoric in governments today, the Stonewall Center aims to continue to make the trans and non-binary UMass community feel valued and safe.

Veda Lakkamraju can be reached at [email protected].

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