Important message of support from the WGS Department

October 9, 2023

The Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality affirms the importance of respecting and supporting all students, faculty, and staff at the University of Virginia, including those of us who are transgender, nonbinary, or gender questioning.  We believe that maintaining the excellence of the University as a public institution necessitates a positive affirmation of gender-inclusivity and the investment of resources to ensure that trans and nonbinary people thrive.

2023 is the fourth consecutive record-breaking year for anti-trans legislation in the U.S. Today there are close to 570 anti-trans bills that have been introduced. Eighty-three have passed so far, with attacks on gender-affirming care, particularly for trans youth, education, athletics, and the banning of LGBTQ books. The political anti-trans agenda is at an all time high, without recognition of the harm this is causing gender diverse people.

On October 11, Abigail Shrier will speak at the University of Virginia.  While she is free to express her views, the WGS Department urges audience members to recognize that her opinions lack rigorous evidence and create an anti-trans climate at UVA that can make students, faculty, and staff feel unwelcome here. For research-based approaches to the care of trans children and youth, we recommend consulting the American Association of Pediatrics policy statement on "Ensuring Comprehensive Care and Support for Transgender and Gender-Diverse Children and Adolescents," available online; the American Psychological Association statement on "Criminalizing Gender Affirmative Care with Minors: Suggested Discussion Points with Resources to Oppose Transgender Exclusion Bills"; and the American Medical Association press release to states, "Stop Interfering in Health Care of Transgender Children." Additional resources can be accessed through the National Center for Transgender Equality, the Human Rights Campaign, and the Trevor Project.  Trans affirming care can be accessed in the Charlottesville community through Gender Health Services

Over the coming academic year, WGS will sponsor a series of events dedicated to the theme of "Trans Care."

The first event will be on October 24, 7:00-9:00 PM, Bryan Hall 229-30.

Lucie Fielding will speak on "Dreaming Trans Futures in an Anti-Trans Present."

Fielding is the author of the prize-winning book, Trans Sex: Clinical Approaches to Trans Sexualities and Erotic Embodiments.  A licensed therapist and sexuality educator, Fielding is a leading authority on trans health.  Her work pushes beyond pathologizing diagnoses to explore the potential of "gender-pleasure."

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