By Emily Lannon, Arts and Entertainment Editor
November 20 is Transgender Day of Remembrance. To honor those facing the violence towards the trans community, and to respect those lost to that violence and hatred, the Center for Women, Gender, and Sexuality is producing a performance of Paul Logan’s play “Trans Scripts Part I: The Women.”
It will be held in the Library Grand Reading Room at 7:00 p.m. on November 20. The play is a result of four years of research interviewing over seventy-five transgender individuals in six different countries.
In years past the Center for Women and Gender Studies have held art exhibits on Trans Day of Remembrance but this year have decided to do something a bit more uplifting.
The play focuses on the stories of seven trans women and their journeys coming into themselves and out to society. Each scene the focus shifts to a different aspect of their realization and acceptance of their identity.
Topics covered range from community reception and the social “passing” as their gender, to more personal topics like the process of realizing their identities and their choices regarding reassignment surgery and other medical procedures.
These women come from a variety of cultures and are also in a variety of different points in their transition and lives; ages range from women in their twenties and thirties to a woman in her seventies.
This variety highlights the diversity within the trans community as well as the underlying unifying aspects of belonging to the community.
There will be a talkback after the show, where the performers will get to talk to the audience on a more personal level about the experience of the play.
Auditions were held on October 30 and non-binary and genderqueer individuals were encouraged to audition, to bring more realism to the performance.
The play takes the format of a stage reading; there will be no set or costumes. Only the seven characters are on stage, speaking to the audience about their experiences.
Juli Parker, director of the Center for Women, Gender, and Sexuality, spoke to The Torch on the importance of the center and their effect on the campus community. UMass Dartmouth’s Center for Women, Gender, and Sexuality is the second oldest women’s center in the country.
Founded as the Women’s center in 1970, the name was changed in 2011 and the office was relocated to its current location on the second floor of the campus center.
Along with the name change came a lot more responsibilities for the Center. Since 2011 the Center for Women, Gender, and Sexuality has made strides to ensure that the campus provides as many resources as possible for women and the LGBT+ community.
Parker described the Center as “A co curricular experience outside of the classroom.” Explaining that it is important for the center to educate the community on campus and to be able to provide resources for the students that need it.
The center has put on plays before, though not for Trans Day of Remembrance. They also showcased “The Clothesline Project” an art exhibit that was on display in the campus center to portray the stories of women that were victim to domestic violence.
In an effort to provide more resources for the trans community, the Center for Women, Gender, and Sexuality has worked with others in the campus administration to open 62 all gender bathrooms on campus.
At their website, http://www.umassd.edu/cwgs, they provide even more resources. The center gives information on the formalization of name changes on campus and provides resources to contact the Human Rights Clinic in the UMass Dartmouth School of Law, along with all of the information you would need.
Make sure you come out and see Trans Scripts on November 20 at 7:00 p.m.!