I had three ideas for my capstone project: video games influencing players, wearable technology/portable computing and trans* issues at RIT. After reviewing all three ideas with my professor and the class, the trans* story pitch was the strongest and the one I chose to go with.
For a background interview I spoke to the receptionist at the GLBT Center at RIT. I missed a talk by a trans* speaker by one day, which is a shame, but we discussed the issues that trans* people have on campus, especially when it comes to representation.
There’s three major groups that work with trans* people on campus. The GLBT Center is for everyone under the queer umbrella, as well as allies. It’s a safe space for people to hang out, eat meals, take a nap and to have weekly meetings. There’s free condoms and a library of queer materials to check out.
The Center for Women and Gender has C. Henry Hinesley, who runs the GLBT Center. The Women/Gender Center gives counseling and services and runs feminist events. The Center used to be the Women’s Center, but the new name is part of their PR campaign to show that they’re inclusive to everyone. They have free condoms, dental dams, pads/tampons, chocolate and literature on domestic violence, sexual health, etc. The Center still seems to be very much geared towards cis females.
OUTspoken provides representation for LGBT people at major student organization (MSO) events. OUTspoken is ran like a club in that it has multiple people, while the deaf and female communities each have their own senators in student government.
RIT has its own trans* group, Tangent, but they seem to be most literally underground. I’ve heard of them before when The Reporter was writing their one piece about trans* people, including how flyers for Tangent get ripped down and otherwise erased from campus. I managed to find a single poster outside of the GLBT Center. They don’t have their own webpage, only a single email address; they’re an official RIT club, which is odd that they have such a small footprint.
I’m currently looking for trans* students to talk to me, which I expect to be somewhat difficult. I’ll try to get a hold of Tangent and talk to Hinesley as well.