Queer and Trans Services providing trans students gender affirming items


Leta Lohrmeyer

Colors blue, pink, and white create the trans flag. The words "Trans Send, TDOV 2020 transition wish list, one item up to $100 on us" is centered in the middle of the image.
UNO’s Queer and Trans Services are hosting a giveaway celebrating Trans Day of Visibility where trans and trans questioning students can choose a gender affirming item that is up to $100. Photo courtesy of UNO’s Queer and Trans Services Facebook page.

Transgender Day of Visibility (TDOV) is an annual celebration on March 31 that honors and uplifts transgender people. In honor of this day, UNO’s Queer and Trans Services (QTS) are providing trans and trans questioning students a gender affirming item of their choice that is $100 or under.

This giveaway is continuing until May 8 or when QTS reaches their $2,000 spending limit budget. Torie Walenz, director of Queer and Trans Services, said that this giveaway was inspired by the spirit of TDOV.

“Tangible offers of support to gender variant individuals who aren’t able to get the items themselves due to a multitude of reasons such as financial difficulty, safety, lack of access is just one way to move beyond visibility and toward love, reparations, implementation and normalcy,” Walenz said.

These gender affirming items can help individuals transition and reach gender affirmation. Gender affirmation is defined as an interpersonal, interactive process where a person receives social recognition and support for their gender identity and expression, according to the National Library of Medicine.

Walenz said that are a variety of items that can be personal for each individual.

“This depends on the person! It can be a long list of things such as chest binderspackersbreast forms, bras, wigs, high-heels, boxers, panties, jeans, makeup, nail polish, a suit, hair cutting tools, a dress, razors, perfume or cologne,” said Walenz. “Pretty much anything a trans individual needs under $100 to help with transition and or gender dysphoria but cannot afford or safely obtain.”

Several requests are already made for items and some requests were made just minutes after the form went live. Because of this, Walenz said QTS has extended the Trans Send opportunity to include trans-questioning students as well. The budget has also doubled from the original $1,000.

Because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, QTS will be mailing the items to either the person’s address, Milo Bail Student Center or another delivery option depending on what is safest.

Transgender Day of Visibility was created by Rachel Crandall on March 31, 2009 to celebrate trans people in a positive light, according to Trans Student Education Resources. Walenz said that TDOV is continuing to evolve.

“Previously, TDOV aimed to celebrate the accomplishments of gender-diverse individuals across the globe, while also raising awareness of the discrimination faced by this community,” Walenz said. “TDOV still does this but now – because of the hyper-visibility trans folks often face which makes the transgender community susceptible to immense violence and harassment – it is my opinion that TDOV’s focus should move beyond visibility and toward love, reparations, implementation and normalcy.”