'Transgender handouts' examine 'Gender-Normative Privilege'

The Stonewall Center at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst is offering informational handouts to guide students through topics such as “Gender-Normative Privilege.”

The Stonewall Center, which is the “LGBTQIA+ Resource Center” on campus, offers a series of twelve “handouts” on its website aimed at teaching students about transgender issues, including “Transgender Terminology,”  ”How to Be an Ally to Transgender People,” “Transgender Films,” and more. 

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A primer on Gender-Normative Privilege, for instance, provides a checklist students can use to identify “if I am gender normative (or, in some cases, simply perceived as gender normative).”

Some of the indications that one is gender normative include the ability to “purchase shoes that fit my gender expression without having to order them in special sizes or asking someone to custom-make them,” being able to use the showers at a gym or public pool, and not being “expected to constantly defend my medical decisions.”

A “Transgender Terminology” handout, meanwhile, features a glossary of terms for students to study, such as “MTF Individuals,” which is defined as “Male-to-female transsexual people, transsexual women, or trans women—individuals assigned male at birth who identify as female.” 

Likewise, the school defines phrases such as “Cisgender Privilege,” “Two Spirit People,” “Genderqueer Individuals,” and “Gender Affirming Surgery.”

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According to its website, the department’s overall objective is to serve “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer, Intersex, and Asexual” students and members of the local community. 

“When we opened in 1985, The Stonewall Center was just the third center of its kind on a college campus,” the university explains. “Our center has served as a model for many other colleges and universities, and today more than 150 LGBT campus centers and offices exist across the United States and Canada.”

Alongside the “Transgender Handouts by the Director,” the center also offers a “UMass Trans FAQ,” “Western Massachusetts Trans Resource Guide,” a listing of “Campus Gender-Inclusive Restrooms,” “Transgender Articles by the Director,” and “Other Transgender Articles” drawn from various sources.

Campus Reform has reached out to the Director of the Stonewall Center and the university itself, but has not received a response from either.

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