PRIDE stands in ‘solidarity and love’ for Trans Day of Visibility

Sara Topliff, Reporter

California Lutheran University’s People Respecting Identity, Diversity and Equality Club and Campus Ministry celebrated Transgender Day of Visibility with students, staff and faculty members gathering at the flagpoles to pray for transgender youth across the country. Transgender Day of Visibility is devoted to celebrating transgender people, raising awareness of the discrimination trans people face and acknowledging activism seeking transgender equality.

“We have quite a few trans students on campus and a lot of them don’t feel safe, especially with issues we’ve had…so being able to show that they are human is very important to our community as a whole,” fifth-year student Devon Pesantes said. “Meeting at the flagpoles means a lot for us because we can fly our flag as well…it makes people realize we’re not just outcasts. It means a lot when we actually have students show up to different events, just kind of help the community make us feel safer in the space we are in.”

Senior Dylan Gallagher, who is a co-president of PRIDE, opened the gathering with a speech highlighting the invisibility of transgender youth across the country and sharing his personal experiences as a person, a human and as a transgender male. 

“Trans Day of Visibility is something that was started as an addition to Trans Day of Remembrance as something that showcases the fact that trans people are in your day-to-day life more than you think. It’s just something that, especially now, is very important,” Gallagher said. 

Following Gallagher’s speech, Reverend Scott shared some words and said a prayer to close out the gathering.

“We stand together in solidarity and love for our transgender students…we celebrate joy and resilience of our transgender students and members of our community. This is what a beloved community looks like. Beloved community is about diversity, uniqueness, honoring the light of all individuals and honoring each person’s unique identity,” Rev. Scott said during his speech.