News, sports, entertainment and opinions about the Moorpark College community

Dominic D'Amico

Jude Goodman speaks on what it means to be a transgender person and what it means to be an ally at Moorpark College’s 29th Multicultural Day, on Tuesday, April 9.

‘Voices Matter’: Transgender presentation garners a strong reaction from members of the Moorpark community

With social and political tension currently at an all-time high worldwide, there is a lot of fear surrounding anything new or unknown. Groups such as the LGBT community, and more specifically, the transgender community, have historically faced trouble having their voices heard. The Moorpark College 29th Multicultural Day allows for these people to speak up and show just how their voices matter.

Many misconceptions exist about the transgender community, and Jude Goodman, a Moorpark College art student and member of the transgender community, works to reverse these misconceptions through their Multicultural Day presentation, “Transgender 101”.

Though the presentation concerned itself mostly with general information about the transgender community, it served as a crash-course intended to teach people who are ill-informed or uneducated about the transgender community about sensitive issues.

When asked about what inspires their activism, Goodman, who goes by they/them pronouns, said that it is a lifestyle in which they find inspiration wherever they go.

“I like to incorporate my activism everywhere, from school papers and my art to formal educational presentations like this,” Goodman said. “It’s important for people to see a trans person within their community.”

Presentations like these, which provide clarity for people who aren’t familiar with LGBT issues, can help dispel some of the stigmas against people with varying gender identities.

Qixuan Mai, a student at Moorpark College who volunteered to assist with the speech, talks about what initially drew her into this presentation.

“I am very interested in transgender and LGBT [issues], so I signed up for it,” Mai said. “I feel that transgender [people] aren’t ‘special’ people, they’re really common. They are [just like] others, and share the same qualities. They really should have the same rights.”

Despite the support that the trans community gets, the central debate between many people is the assumed overlap between biological sex and gender. Goodman’s presentation clarifies that biological sex is separate from gender, and the whole basis of categorizing people into two categories, often based on observed genitalia from birth, is an unsubstantiated tradition which limits everyone, including intersex people.

Intersex is a term used to describe a person’s variance in a whole host of biological traits, such as internal and external reproductive anatomy and chromosomal patterns. For example, a person being born with chromosomal patterns other than “XX” and “XY”, such as “XXY” or “XXYY”, would be considered intersex.

According to Goodman, assigning a single sex–and gender–to these people is harmful, especially when doctors and surgeons go so far as to alter an intersex person’s anatomy at birth to ensure they conform to a single sex.

In addition to these hardships, Goodman points out that, based on their experiences, the most common misconception about trans people is the idea that they are all the same when their community is actually incredibly diverse.

“The transgender community is incredibly diverse, as a trans person can come from any type of community,” Goodman said. “Also, it’s a common misconception that you can tell someone is trans by looking at them. That isn’t true.”

An often overlooked part of the trans community are non-binary people, which Goodman spoke about as well.

According to Taylor Wolfe, a theater arts student at Moorpark College who sat in on the presentation, “non-binary” is not as prevalent of a term as “transgender” is.

“People do need to learn a lot more about the non-binary part of the trans community,” Wolfe said. “Society has heard more about transgender people, trans masculine, trans feminine, but not about the non-binary part.”

Being non-binary means having a gender identity that is neither male nor female, or fluctuates between the two. They often, but not always, refer to themselves with gender-neutral pronouns.

One way to combat this lack of knowledge is to actively seek answers, online or in presentations like these. Goodman capitalizes on the fact that for them, the internet was a great source for learning about themselves and finding a supportive community of people like them.

“The internet is an amazing resource for the trans community, especially for gender questioning and closeted people, and trans people who live in a place where it isn’t safe to come out,” Goodman said. “It’s where I learned about what being trans is, and found a community to help me figure things out.”

Having a supportive community is crucial to people going through a transition and can help discover new things to bring to people’s attention. Wolfe speaks on how presentations like these help the trans community, especially coming from a unique voice that is not often heard in society.

“Even though I am a member of the community and I do have my own research,” Wolfe said. “[It’s important] that other members can still provide insight, and, like Jude said, that we still keep learning, and even our own members of the community can still learn about ourselves.”

On the future of trans rights, Wolfe has a hopeful outlook and notices an upward trend.

“We are going in a better direction; however, it’s nowhere near 100 percent,” Wolfe said. “[Educational presentations] are very helpful. Especially when it’s done by someone of the community. They can provide their own experiences and also it can seem validating to someone who is not part of the community.”

Goodman, on the other hand, has a more unyielding attitude towards their rights and highlights how heavily politics can influence their realities.

“Trans people won’t be erased or forced back into the closet,” Goodman said. “No matter how hard Mike Pence tries.”

Goodman has presented their talk multiple times at previous Multicultural Days and plans on continuing their activism through educational presentations as well as representational art and ceramics.

To contact them, you can email at [email protected] or find them on Instagram @cursewordsandclay.

Comments (0)

All Moorpark College Reporter Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *