Transgender Statement of Solidarity

statement of solidarity


On this Transgender Day of Remembrance, we commemorate all of our community members that are no longer with us. Transphobic bigotry and violence claimed so many of our siblings, more often manifesting as suicide, inaccessible health care, addiction or homelessness, than overt hate crimes.

The past two years we've witnessed continued assaults on the lives and civil liberties of transgender people in the United States; the recently leaked U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) memo is only the most recent example in a long history of policies and cultural rhetoric that marginalize and devalue transgender and nonbinary people. And while our community is resilient, these sorts of attacks take a toll on us all.

We recognize our oppression, but we also recognize our beauty. Struggle creates a common bond, a community, and there's strength in numbers. And with that strength we are creating a world our people can — and will want — to live in.

In that spirit, the IUPUI LGBTQ+ Center and the LGBTQ+ Faculty & Staff Council would like to reaffirm our support of transgender and nonbinary people and communities on campus and in Indianapolis.

We strongly oppose the proposed changes to the definition of sex and gender as outlined in the HHS memo, as it would limit the broader understanding of sex, gender, and sexuality as fixed, immutable characteristics.

Regardless of the potential legal ramifications of the HHS memo, this continued disregard for transgender and non-binary people adds to the disproportionate emotional labor already required of marginalized communities.

In this political climate, we applaud Indiana University for recently adding gender expression to the list of protected statuses in the non-discrimination policy. This public statement of inclusion and support for transgender and nonbinary people is an important commitment to not only our community, but to truly fulfilling the promise to all Hoosiers.

Indiana University and IUPUI have taken many positive steps in supporting transgender and nonbinary faculty, staff, and students, but there is still much more to be done. Some examples of this work already underway include:

  • Working with colleagues around campus to include demographic questions about sexuality and gender identity on applications, so we have concrete data on the size and scope of our community, as well as information about graduation rates and retention of LGBTQ+ faculty, staff, and students
  • Partnering with community organizations and mental health professionals working with the LGBTQ+ community to support advocacy and training in competent care practices
  • Exploring avenues to display preferred pronouns alongside names in informational systems

The IUPUI LGBTQ+ Center and the LGBTQ+ Faculty & Staff Council are committed to this ongoing work with our partners and allies across campus and in Indianapolis. To this end, we are pleased to announce the completion of the Trans Survival Guide, answering FAQ on the ins and outs of college life for transgender and nonbinary students at IUPUI. The Trans Survival Guide is available in the LGBTQ+ Center as well as digitally on our website. This guide is the first in a series tailored to IUPUI LGBTQ+ students and the people who support them.

For anyone seeking support or community, we encourage you to explore the following resources:


Community Resources

We hope the IUPUI community will embrace this opportunity to join together in creating an inclusive, welcoming, and supportive environment for all people, including our transgender and nonbinary faculty, staff, and students. We encourage all members of our community to educate themselves about the experiences of transgender and non-binary people and communities, and give support in whatever form you can.

With hope,

AJ Young
Director of LGBTQ+ Center and proud transgender man

Shelly Snider
Chair of LGBTQ+ Faculty Staff Council


In solidarity:
Karen Dace
Vice Chancellor of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion



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