Author Archives: lthomas

Poster for Intersections Week 2011

Intersections Week 2011

Intersections Week 2011 explores the relationship between LGBTQ identities and racial identities.

MONDAY 11.14
“Should Be, Could Be, But Is”
Film screening and meet and greet with the director, Nayoung Woo. Lunch will be provided.
Putting the “Out” in Outsourced
Black Community Services Center – 7:30 PM
Meet Ms. Aneesh Sheth, the first South Asian trans woman on TV, LGBTQ youth activist, actor, singer, and director.
LGBT Rural Advocacy
Arrillaga Dining – 12 PM
Learn from advocates from the Proyecto Poderoso project, a partnership of the National Center for Lesbian Rights and the California Rural Legal Association. Lunch provided.
Remember Me in Red
El Centro Chicano – 7 PM
This award-winning short film tackles the aftermath of tragedy in a transgender Latina community. Meet writer/director Hector Ceballos and star Mariana Marroquin. Food provided.
CASA: Lunch for Frosh and Transfers
A weekly lunch and advising session for freshman and transfers.
South Asian and Queer Women: Fire
Women’s Community Center – 7 PM
Watch Deepa Mehta’s acclaimed “Fire”, which features the the story of two South Asian women in love.  Snacks provided.
Queer + Indigenous Identity
This lunchtime event features a panel focused on diverse experiences with queer and indigenous identity followed by a question and answer session and discussion. All are welcome.
Body Image + Race + Queer Identity
Join us for a panel on how body image issues intersect with race, sexuality, gender, and other identities.  Panelists will share their stories and audience discussion will follow.
Spoken Word Workshop: Personal Narratives
Take a break from studying in this evening writing workshop, where we’ll write and share stories about growing up and struggling with our multiple identities.
FRIDAY 11.18
Real Talk
Discuss personal experiences with intersectional identities in this safe and open space. Lunch provided.
Open Heart, Open Mic
CoHo – 7 PM
Speak and hear truth at this open forum for poetry, thoughts, song, and reflection.

SSQL’S ROTC Argument

We appreciate and acknowledge the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT), but despite this historic change, transgender, intersex, and disabled people are still systematically excluded from the military.   We oppose the return of ROTC to campus, because it constitutes a violation of Stanford’s non-discrimination clause, which states “Stanford University admits qualified students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, and gender identity to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the University.”  This is an issue of access, of civil rights.  Stand with us, and stand with your marginalized peers against explicit discrimination.  The rights of a minority should not be subject to the prejudices of a majority.

Frequently raised concerns:

1.      Your argument is simply a foil for anti-militarism. Those of us involved in the SSQL effort against the introduction of a discriminatory ROTC program span the political spectrum in our support for the military.  Political opinion about the military, furthermore, is irrelevant to an argument about civil rights.

2.      Transgender individuals are unfit for military service and therefore for the ROTC program.  Often this concern is based on the unfounded view that transgender identity inherently results in poor mental health.  According to the Suicide Prevention Resource Center, high rates of suicide and mental health conditions in the transgender community is a result of institutionalized stigma, and lack of community support, not an innate disorder.  Yes, “Gender Identity Disorder” is still included in the Diagnostic Statistical Manual, but the American Psychological Association and several LGBT organizations are staunchly against this unfortunate pathologizing of transgender identities.

3.      Intersex individuals are unfit for military service.  Intersexuality, on the other hand, is a physical condition diagnosed at birth based on ambiguous genitalia and/or hormonal status.  Neither of these factors have an intrinsic effect on the ability of an individual to serve in the military.   Indeed, the exclusion of intersexuals is really based on fundamental prejudice and phobia.

4.      Disabled individuals are unfit for military service.  While it is true that many tasks in the military require a certain degree of physical fitness, like other ability-differentiated activities on campus, it is the responsibility of the organizers to provide safe alternatives (such as training for civilian positions).

5.      The military will never be able to accommodate all these different identities.  This is a fairly pessimistic view isn’t it?  We were at the same point a few decades ago with LGB servicemembers but we pushed through (though not without concerted effort).  The military, as one of our nation’s largest employers, can and should embody the non-discrimination.

6.      Stanford-educated military leaders will make the military inclusive to transgender, intersex, and disabled individuals.  This idea offers a fairly slow and problematic narrative of progress.  Why not speak out against oppression now, in coalition with our marginalized peers, instead of waiting for an uncertain trickle-down effect?  Transgender, intersex, and disabled people have been left out of our civil rights clauses long enough, and it is time we speak up for justice.

7.      You are enacting discrimination against ROTC cadets by not allowing the program on campus.  We are ready to work with the military community in reducing the stigma around veteran or cadet status, but we do not believe the de facto (or social) discrimination against military cadets (who choose their military status) is comparable to the de jure (codified) discrimination against transgender, intersex, and disabled individuals.  Fighting de facto discrimination requires social transformation but de jure discrimination requires a simple (though often difficult) change in law.  Working for military students’ community and opposing ROTC on the basis of discrimination are not mutually exclusive.  We propose a military student VSO as an alternative for those who choose to enlist.

Poster for Trans* Awareness Week 2011

Transmission: Transgender Awareness Week 2011


Q+A Panel: Trans at Stanford
El Centro Chicano – 12 PM
Meet transgender-identified Stanford students. Lunch will be provided.
Trans 101
A crash course in transgender identities, featuring transgender activist Jamison Green.

“T” is for Terrific
White Plaza – 12 PM
Come celebrate transgender identity and learn more about transgender rights! Pizza will be provided.
Transgender People in Prisons
Black Community Services Center Lounge – 7:00-8:30 PM
Come watch Cruel and Unusual, a documentary about the inhumane treatment of transgender women in prison.

International Trans Identity
Harmony House – 8:30-10:00 PM
Come watch Middlesexes, a documentary about gender and trans identity around the globe.

Trans Health
Come learn about discrimination against transgender people in healthcare, featuring genderqueer public health consultant Willy Wilkinson. Lunch will be provided.
Trans Legal Issues
Trans activist Danielle Askini discusses current issues facing transgender Americans.

Meet Autumn Sandeen
LGBT-CRC – 1:30 PM
Autumn Sandeen, a transgender-identified Navy veteran, talks about the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and the implications for trans Americans.
Terra House (Cowell Cluster) – 6:30 PM
Katastrophe, a local trans-identified rapper, performs at Terra House, the unofficial LGBT Co-Op.

Trans Spirituality and Religion
El Centro Chicano – 12 PM
Panel with transgender, genderqueer, and intersex religious leaders from the Bay Area. Lunch will be provided.
Boys Don’t Cry
LGBT-CRC – 8-10 PM
See Hillary Swank’s Oscar-winning portrayal of transman Brandon Teena.

At Stanford, Alok Vaid-Menon, a sophomore and president of Stanford Students for Queer Liberation, said his group wanted to keep R.O.T.C. off the campus, though still allow students to participate in programs at nearby campuses, until the military accepted transgender students. He said that he had tried to raise support for this view from students at other universities but that the response so far had been “bleak.”

Mr. Vaid-Menon said there were about 10 transgender students at Stanford, which he said was about the same number of those involved in R.O.T.C.

from, by Katharine Q. Seelye of the New York Times.