UNO instills change: Offering comfort at UNO Transgender day of visibility

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Caleb Foote
CONTRIBUTOR

The second annual transgender day of visibility at the College of Public Affairs and Community Service brought together students, faculty and citizens from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, Creighton University, Metropolitan Commu-nity College and the Omaha area at large.

A member of the board who organized the event said it’s time to step up and accept transgender lives.

Another member of the board said the event is to mourn the loss of those transgender individual who lost their lives, and to support transgender individuals within the community and show them their lives have meaning and value.

Joni Stacy, attorney at Sena, Polk & Stacy, L.L.C., serves as the president of the parents, families, friends and allies of LGBTQ, and delivered a speech to educate people on the basics of transgender terminology and processes.

Stacy said it’s important to note while everyone starts out as a female while inside the womb, one out of 100 infants at birth have bodies different from “standard” male and female.

Gender identity is different from sex. Stacy said it’s “what your brain says you are.”

Stacy used Native Americans as an example and said the Native American culture embraced and revered two spirit people, or individuals who had the opposite gender identity from their sex.

According to Stacy, beyond the two spirits there’s a third gender (a gender that’s neither male or female), agender (the absence of gender) and gender fluid (individuals whose gender identity changes and doesn’t fit any of the other identities).

Advancing beyond that, Stacy said another important point is to understand cisgender and transgender. Cisgender individuals have an anatomy and brain (or gender identity) that match.

“Transgender is an umbrella where anatomy and brain don’t match,” Stacy said.

An important thing she stressed is just because people identify as transgender does not mean they
want to transition. Transsexual is a term coined for people who went through the surgeries.

“It’s in your brain,” Stacy said. “Whether you do anything about it or not.”

Sexual orientation is another piece Stacy said is integral in helping others understand. There’s more than simply straight and gay. It’s on a spectrum and a continuum. Most people are familiar with some of the sexual orientations, including heterosexuality, homosexuality and bisexuality. However, there are many more orientations which need to be discussed and understood.

Pansexuality is the “hearts not parts” sexual orientation on the spectrum, Stacy said. Pansexual individuals care about the personality of the individuals they want to have a relationship with and aren’t concerned with other factors.

Asexuality is the opposite of pansexuality. “There is no physical attraction,” Stacy said. Asexual individuals don’t have sexual feelings toward other individuals.

“Demisexuality is similar to asexuality and pansexuality. It is the ‘wine and dine,’ and when there’s deep feelings a relationship can blossom,” Stacy said.

Stacy said it’s important for everyone to consider all aspects of a person—life and humans aren’t binary.

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