Jaide, a student studying psychology and gender studies at the U, shared with the ‘Part of U’ video series about how his experiences have helped him feel a part of the U. He first began his studies at the U as a lesbian and has since identified as a transgender man. His personal experiences have helped him want to explore the gender studies program and he hopes to one day become a therapist, specifically for the transgender community.
The month of November is Transgender Awareness Month with events such as Transgender Day of Remembrance on Nov. 20 when transgender men and women that have been victims of violence and hate crimes are remembered during a candlelight vigil every year. Another important event is the Gender Revolution conference.
“Gender Revolution is a really important conference with multiple different workshops exploring various identities in the TLGBT, the whole acronym, whatever you call it,” said Jaide. “I like to put the T first just because it gets forgotten a lot.”
One key thing that Jaide feels is important for people to know how to help the transgender community feel safe is to use a person’s correct pronoun, and feel comfortable enough tell them what your pronoun is and not to just assume someone’s gender.
“If you have questions that you feel are inappropriate, feel free to ask somebody forwardly,” said Jaide. “Just Google it. There’s a lot of things online. [On] YouTube there are a ton of videos of transmen and transwomen.”
Jaide’s story is different than the media’s typical portrayal of a transgender. He felt comfortable as a tomboy growing up and did not necessarily feel that he was a boy as a child. He said that there is a frequent narrative describing a transgender person that always felt they were a different gender than the one they were assigned to at birth starting from a young age.
“I think it’s detrimental to believe that every story is the same and just continue feeling that we have to have this very linear path of how a trans person comes to be,” said Jaide.
Jaide has taken classes such as yoga and meditation at the U. He also took a masculinity class for his gender studies program. The teacher was very supportive of Jaide’s writing and his thinking in a unique way, rather than what was expected.
“For me being a part of the U means gaining knowledge, understanding, questioning that knowledge, questioning that understanding. It means being challenged and learning how to work through stress and learning how to work through difficulty,” Jaide said.
This video was produced by Julie Hirschi, Esther Aboussou, Aaron Quintana, Alexis Moon, and Stephanie Rudzik.