Seniors promote transgender awareness

TransAction Student Network deals with issues affecting the transgender community on campus.

To foster a more transgender-friendly community at Temple, seniors Danny Glaubinger and Kate Moriarty decided to create the TransAction Student Network, an organization for transgender students.
TransAction will promote awareness about the needs of transgender students.
“The things [TransAction] wants to accomplish have a lot to do with direct action,” said Glaubinger, who is a senior geography and urban studies and Spanish major. “There are so many goals we have, and it’s hard to fit them in with one group, so it made sense to start a separate group.”
Currently, the Queer Student Union, formerly known as Common Ground, provides a welcoming environment to gay, lesbian and bisexual students on campus.
One group serving the entire LGBT community seemed unrealistic, Glaubinger said.
Moriarty, a women’s studies major, said there should be a group dedicated to the transgender community.
“There was a real need to look at the issues facing the transgender community and deconstruct these issues,” Moriarty said. “It’s necessary to have other spaces or groups that deal with specific issues.”
Glaubinger and Moriarty first thought of the idea to start a transgender organization after attending the Philadelphia Trans-Health Conference.
“The idea of starting our own group remained a conversation for a while,” Moriarty said. “[The idea] was so emotional, and we kept discussing our experiences at Temple. We slowly began to brainstorm about the group.”
TransAction began holding meetings during the Fall 2008 semester.
Both said the organization was Glaubinger’s “baby” and therefore, when registration was finalized, it was obvious Glaubinger would be named president.
Glaubinger and Moriarty are in the process of gathering information on what policies and programs are already offered for transgender students.
“There’s certainly room for improvement, but before we start making suggestions, we need to figure out what is available now,” Glaubinger said.
The need of improvements for Temple’s LGBT community is seen in its score from The Advocate College Guide for LGBT Students. Temple’s score out of 20 categories was 12, a low score compared to other colleges.
According to the guide, a major point missing from Temple’s score is a “nondiscrimination statement inclusive of gender identity and expression.”
Rhonda Brown, associate vice president of Office of Multicultural Affairs, confirmed this.
“We take our cue from the federal government and [gender identity or expression] is not a federal change at the moment,” Brown said. “I look at the report and feel bad we did not do that great a job, but the things that were wrong, such as the discrimination statement, were things I couldn’t fix.”
The nondiscrimination statement only affects a transgender student’s records.
The difficulty in changing names for transgender students occurs with documents such as birth certificates and financial aid records.
University officials cannot alter students’ names on records until they have legally changed their names or completed the transitioning process.
Brown said the policy does not affect the classroom environment.
Brown and Dina Stonberg, a coordinator for Health Education Awareness Resource Team, said Temple will begin to offer a program known as Safe Space, which trains faculty and staff on race, sexual orientation and gender.
After faculty members complete the program, they receive a sticker for their office windows or doors to advertise safe spaces for people with complaints or issues.
Brown said training begins in January.
“I think there are a lot of things we need to do better, and I think people are very aware of that,” Stonberg said.
For now, the primary areas of focus for TransAction are bathrooms and housing.
Bathrooms became a top priority for TransAction because the issue is politicized.
“Just about every bathroom on campus is a multi-stalled, gender-segregated bathroom,” Glaubinger said. “[Transgender] people need a safe, comfortable place to go to the bathroom and not get harassed.”
There is a gender-neutral bathroom in Saxbys Coffee on Liacouras Walk.
For now, Glaubinger and Moriarty want to inform students about the whereabouts of gender-neutral bathrooms on campus and persuade the university place gender-neutral placards on existing bathrooms.
Another priority for TransAction is on-campus housing.
Moriarty had an emotionally devastating experience during her first semester at Temple. Moriarty said her roommate made her homophobic feelings known.
Moriarty approached her resident assistant, who peer mediated the roommates, but nothing was resolved.
Glaubinger’s and Moriarty’s experiences on campus have influenced them to improve conditions for transgender students.
“Everyone deserves to live comfortably,” Moriarty said. “It’s traumatic to be living in a situation where you are not accepted for who you are.”
Joshua Fernandez can be reached at


  1. I admire those groups working for GLBT, also those online services like the one **BiLoves dotcom**. Members there are very active. Hope you are the one. Many of my friends there have spent their careers working for equality for lesbian, gay,bisexual and transgender (LGBT) persons. I think they are really very great.If you come back here frequently, you may find what you are looking easily and quickly.

  2. Transgender anything have a major malfunction going on. Why any institution would support this type of mental illness is beyond all decency. Haven’t you heard, it is unnatural! Sickos the lot of you!

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