Penn State to host Transgender Visibility Month events during November 2017

October 27, 2017

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State will join universities and communities across the nation in celebrating Transgender Visibility Month. This is the second year events will be held on campus and in the community throughout November.

Transgender Visibility Month is an opportunity to increase awareness and advance advocacy for transgender and gender non-conforming people and the issues they face in their lives. Transgender Day of Remembrance occurs every Nov. 20 as a day to memorialize those who have been lost as a result of transphobia and to bring attention to the continued violence endured by the transgender community.

“We are excited to expand on the transgender visibility activities that were available during the inaugural Transgender Visibility Week last November. So much so, that we have chosen to make November Transgender Visibility Month. We will be partnering with the LGBTQA Student Resource Center, LGBTQA student groups, and LGBTQA community groups to provide a month full of rich transgender-related, educational experiences,” said Stephanie Whitesell, co-chair of the Commission on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Equity's Transgender Concerns Committee.

“We will carry the theme of coming together as a community to support our transgender members throughout this month. It’s very important right now to let our transgender community members know that we have their backs,” Whitesell added.

The Penn State events, which are free and open to the public, include:

— Wednesday, Nov. 1 — Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, reception at 4:30 p.m., keynote speech at 5 p.m., 233B HUB-Robeson Center

— Monday, Nov. 13 — Transgender Information Exchange/HUB Takeover, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Ground Floor Stage, HUB-Robeson Center

— Tuesday, Nov. 14 — Pennsylvania Youth Congress (PYC) Panel Discussion, 7 p.m., 104 Rackley Building. PYC is an advocacy organization dedicated to eliminating discrimination against LGBTQ youth through public policy initiatives.

— Tuesday, Nov. 14 — Third Way Collective Transgender Clothing Exchange, 1-4 p.m., location TBA

— Wednesday, Nov. 15 — “Discovering Crystal,” movie and panel discussion, 6 p.m., 102 Paterno Library (Foster Auditorium). The film chronicles the beginning of one teen’s transition process. A discussion with the director and Crystal’s family will follow the viewing.

— Thursday, Nov. 16 — Transgender Day of Remembrance Vigil: 7:30 p.m., Old Main Lawn

— Thursday, Nov. 16 — “How to Support Your Transgender Employees — an Update from Intel Corporation," 8-9:30 p.m. Join us online at

— Sunday, Nov. 19 — Community Transgender Day of Remembrance, 1 p.m. at the Allen Street gates

According to the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, 55 percent of all reported LGBT homicide victims were transgender women, and half of those were women of color. Furthermore, in the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, 78 percent of transgender/gender non-conforming students in grades K-12 experienced harassment, while 35 percent experienced physical assault and 12 percent experienced sexual violence.

For more information about Transgender Visibility Month, contact Stephanie Whitesell at 814-867-4430 or


Created in 1991, the Commission on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Equity is an advisory group to the President of Penn State. The Commission works to improve the climate for diversity within Penn State by addressing issues affecting the welfare of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) members of the University community. The Commission, which includes as members Penn State administrators, faculty, staff and students from across the Commonwealth, examines current University policies and practices. Follow the Commission on Twitter and Facebook.

Last Updated October 31, 2017