Posted on Tue 03 Dec 2019 at 11:42 by Lgbt+ Officer Nusu
As the LGBT+ Officer I ran the campaign ‘Rock the Cis-tem’ back in November. The aim of the campaign was to challenge systematic oppression faced by trans and non-binary students. I wanted to ensure the campus was a better place for these students to be themselves and feel confident and proud of their identities.
During the campaign week there were several events. The attendance and turnout to these was unbelievable, especially the talk and panel discussion… the room was PACKED with only standing room was left. Furthermore, the webpage created had over 400 clicks of engagement, and 8,500 students opened the Rock the Cis-tem email… this is nothing but amazing and speaks highly of the participation from the wider student body.
The website is still available to look at… go ahead and visit to learn about key terms and find some useful resources: https://www.nusu.co.uk/rtc/
The first event of the week was a ‘Trans and Non-binary Experiences Panel’, held in the Planning Room (NUSU). Over 40 people turned up to ask questions and listen to the panellists. A special shout out to those who took part answering these questions, you did an amazing job. Over 15 questions were answered, and some interesting topics came up, including: coming out, how the University can better improve experiences for trans and non-binary students, and the panellists favourite trans and non-binary icons.
I hosted the clothes exchange on the Wednesday. People came and browsed the extensive lines of clothing available and picked up some good items. Overall, the event went well, and we raised £35.16 for Mermaids UK (charity that support trans and non-binary children and young people). The event got some really good feedback and suggestions that will be carried forward, people wanted:
· More regular clothes exchanges
· Varied sizes and styles of clothing
· Greater abundance of accessories, especially hats!
It had been a long week by Friday, however we had the chance to watch ‘The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson’. This was an insightful documentary into the life and mysterious death of this Stonewall Riot ICON and trans rights activist. I am not going to lie, I shed a tear or two.
Trans Remembrance Vigil:
On the Sunday, the last day of the campaign, we took time to remember those trans and non-binary people from around the world that have lost their lives. It was heart-breaking to hear that 331 people had lost their lives around the world this year, just because they were living as their authentic selves. It is shocking and saddening that these avoidable deaths still occur, it is important to note that those most vulnerable are greatly impacted, especially sex workers and trans women of colour.
Therefore, campaigns like this are so important, not only for our own students to feel represented, but to show solidarity with those that have lost their voice or struggling to speak up in judgemental world.
A massive thank you to those who took part in the week, whether that was coming to events, being on panels, or even reading the information. Since the week I have had many people tell me how grateful this week was hosted and hope the success of this campaign continues.
Tobias Lawrence (NUSU LGBT+ Officer)