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UI Trans Alliance celebrates Transgender Day of Visibility — with puppies


Trans Day of Visibility Panel

Iowa Memorial Union — Saturday, March 31 at 1 p.m.

James Hirsch (left) and AJ King of the UI Trans Alliance in a Trans Day of Visibility photo shoot. — photo courtesy of UI Trans Alliance

Since 2010, March 31 has been celebrated as Transgender Day of Visibility, a complement to the Transgender Day of Remembrance (Nov. 20) that focuses on magnifying rather than memorializing. Trans Student Educational Resources, which has managed the day’s implementation since 2013, says on its website, “this is a day of empowerment and getting the recognition we deserve!”

At the University of Iowa, the UI Trans Alliance will be getting into the spirit of the day with their first ever Trans Day of Visibility Panel. Current UI students (and one recent graduate) will be hanging out in Iowa Memorial Union Academics Room #256 from 1-4 p.m. to answer questions from the public about the transgender community and foster discussion.

They’ll be joined for the afternoon by dogs from Corridor Therapy Dogs.

“We wanted to bring them in not only to have a little fun atmosphere for participants to pet, but having the dogs there could help with any potential discomfort when discussing difficult topics,” UI Trans Alliance secretary/treasurer AJ King said in a chat.

The panelists include King, UI Trans Alliance Vice President James Hirsch, recent UI graduate Vivian Medithi and a fourth panelist, as yet unconfirmed. Students, UI faculty and members of the Iowa City community are all encouraged to attend.

“We’re excited, and we’re hoping for a lot of immersive discussion about/within the trans community,” King said. “Sharing personal experiences from a trans lens can provide a lot of insight and lessen the knowledge gap.”

The event isn’t just for the benefit of the wider community, though.

“Having trans people share their personal stories can be beneficial for another trans person listening in to remind them they aren’t alone, and that there are fellow trans folk advocating for education, rights and visibility,” King said.

Attendees are invited to come and go as they please over the course of the event. As with all UI events, it is open to people of all abilities (anyone needing special accommodations should contact andrew-crowley@uiowa.edu).


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