After being revived to Mills College this semester, the Gender Splendor club coordinated a week of events to celebrate Transgender Day of Visibility.
Transgender Day of Visibility was founded by Rachel Crandall in 2009. While Transgender Day of Remembrance honors transgender people who have lost their lives in hate crimes, Crandall wanted to have a day to recognize those still living.
In honor of the sixth annual Transgender Day of Visibility on Mar. 31, the club hosted a week of celebration starting with t-shirt decorating on Mon., Mar. 30, and concluding with a movie screening on Apr. 1.
The Gender Splendor Club also placed posters around campus with the schedule of the week and in bold print “Trans* people ______ HERE!” Club members and anyone who wanted to participate filled in the blanks.
The signs not only drew awareness but brought humor to the campus community. Blanks were filled with responses like “sleep,” “stress,” “can’t afford” and even “can reach” over the doors to the Tea Shop.
For the first event of the week, a t-shirt making party was hosted outside the Tea Shop. The Gender Splendor club supplied all materials except for shirts, which people were asked to bring. Erin Armstrong, the club’s president, and Melanie Burgarino, the community engagement chair of the club, created stencils for students to use. People decorated their shirts to say things like “Gender Queer As F—“, “I AM LGBT ALLY,” “Hella Queer” and more.
Bargarino sported her shirt from the t-shirt party on Tuesday, during the lunch event on Adam’s Plaza.
“It was great seeing the creativity with the stencils and shirts. People were creative on what they put on shirts, like ‘butch,’ ‘feminine,’ ‘queer,’ ‘gender,’ ‘hella gender,'” Burgarino said. “Today, we have a space to tell people and make them aware and a sign-up for our newsletter.”
On Wednesday, a picnic was held on Holmgren Meadow in front of the M. Club. Members and friends sat in chairs or blankets and brought their own lunches to sit together and talk.
On Thursday, the Gender F— Fashion Show was held in front of the Student Union. There were eight models, all of whom brought their own clothes, including spring wear, plaid shoes, ties overalls and a shirt that said “In space no one can hear you insist there are only two genders.” After each modeled their outfits, they swapped certain pieces with each other and strutted a new outfit.
First-year Gabriela Ramirez, who attended to support a friend, enjoyed the fashion show.
“I think it was a great way to show different people’s personal interpretations of what gender truly means,” Ramirez said.
Friday, the last day of the event, the Gender Splendor club projected a movie on Holmgren Meadow about drag queens in the Australian desert.
“I’m proud of the Gender Splendor club, considering we rested this semester,” Alisha Lemieux, vice president and co-founder of Gender Splendor, said. “I hope the club continues on with Transgender awareness days. It’s a super important holiday for the community and important for people at Mills to see.”
To sign up for the Gender Splendor newsletter,