Community Engagement News from Trans-ilience!
2023 has been a big year for the Trans-ilience Lab’s community engagement efforts. Earlier this year, we launched our Gender Affirmation Project (GAP), a collaborative project with the Allen Neighborhood Center and MSU Triangle Bar Association. GAP is a program designed to help transgender and nonbinary people in Ingham County access legal name and gender marker changes. These legal processes can be confusing and difficult to navigate and so one goal of GAP is to offer group workshops and one-on-one assistance to trans and nonbinary people who would like to change their name and/or gender marker but need help to complete the paperwork. Legal changes can also be prohibitively expensive, with name changes costing as much as $350. Therefore the second goal of GAP is to provide financial assistance to cover the fees for those who can’t afford them. GAP started out with a goal to raise $8,750 - enough to fund 25 name changes. So far this project has raised $5,576 and hosted one workshop to help 5 people with the paperwork. We are hosting our next workshop on October 22nd. If you are a transgender or nonbinary person living in Ingham County and you need logistical and/or financial assistance with completing your legal name and/or gender marker chance, please fill out the brief interest form at https://bit.ly/GAPSign-Up to request assistance from GAP.
The second big piece of news from the Trans-ilience Lab’s community engagement work is that our team and Community Advisory Board put on a Queer & Trans Joy event on October 7th at the Hannah Community Center in East Lansing. This event provided a space to celebrate queer and trans joy and helped us to raise money for the Gender Affirmation Project and the Salus Center (Lansing’s LGBTQ+ community center). It is important to celebrate the joys of queer and transgender people’s lives! So often the media shows a one-sided account of LGBTQ+ lives as being tragic stories full of isolation and heartbreak. While it is important to recognize and address the struggles faced by queer and trans individuals, it is equally important to acknowledge and celebrate the joys and achievements in our lives. We had about 100 people attend and this event raised about $2,000 for the Gender Affirmation Project and the Salus Center. If you did not get a chance to get involved with this event, but would still like to donate to the project, you can do that here: www.trans-ilience.com/gap. Thank you to everyone who participated, donated, contributed, and/or attended! This work would not be possible without your support.
If you are wondering why the Trans-ilience Research Lab is focusing on achieving legal gender affirmation for trans and nonbinary people, check out these research findings to see why it matters:
Join us this weekend to learn more about how to legally change your name and/or gender marker!
Team picture from the Queer & Trans Joy Event
Post-it notes from the Queer & Trans Joy event about what queer & trans joy means