BY ELENA VALDEZ
From November 14 to November 20, CCHS’ LGBT+ Club will be focused on advocating for and educating students about transgender rights, in support of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) Transgender Awareness Week.
The week started off with a club meeting on Monday, November 13, where members made posters and worked together to ensure that transgender awareness is spread. Throughout the week, they hung their handmade posters throughout campus, from the staircases to the main halls.
“[Transgender issues are] important to represent because a lot of people are confused on what it means to be transgender and what gender even his,” secretary Aliceon Clemmensen said. “[We are doing this] so people are not ashamed.”
LGBT+ Club maintains that many students do not know about accurate information when it comes to gender, sex or sexual identity. These identities come in many forms, the focus of this week being transgenderism, which is when an individual’s personal gender identity do not correspond with their biological sex.
At the meeting on November 20, the club engaged in a conversation about how gender has affected their lives. Conversation flew freely and respectfully as each member spoke of their own stories. A safe space was provided in room 4013 after school for genderqueer students to discuss their own personal identities, and connect with each other’s stories of struggling with who they feel they are.
Students even reflected back on early youth where they were not informed on what it means to be transgender, but still felt it. The struggle of finding an identity and not feeling the way society expects a person to has been present for many genderqueer students since elementary school days.
“It is not the color pink, it is what everybody else is saying about it,” nonbinary student Isabella laVaniegos said while elaborating on being the tomboy of her elementary classes. “I hated what it represents.”
LGBT Club explained and answered any questions involving the gender spectrum and expressed that it is okay that not everyone abides by their biological sex. The multitude of problems that transgender people face daily are unknown to many, members say, and by spreading acceptance, the LGBT club hopes to address these issues.
The overwhelming success of the LGBT Club this year is making a difference and broadening the horizons of thought, as they band with many other clubs in saying “unity in diversity.” The support of the student body and its members have made Transgender Awareness Week possible and recognition is finally granted to the lives of Cooper City’s nonbinary, genderqueer and transgender scholars.
Photo by Ben Milgram