Penn State to celebrate Transgender Awareness Month throughout November

November 01, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Center Sexual and Gender Diversity (CSGD), a unit of Penn State Student Affairs, will host a number of events during the month of November to celebrate Transgender Awareness Month. The recognition month is a time to celebrate the transgender, non-binary and gender diverse communities, and encompasses the Annual Transgender Day of Remembrance, which memorializes the lives of victims of transphobic violence across the globe.  

Día De Los Muertos Celebration begins Nov. 2

The month-long celebration will kick off on Monday, Nov. 2, when the CSGD hosts a Día De Los Muertos Celebration. Día De Los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, commemorates the lives and memories of those in individual’s families or communities that have passed.

The center’s altar, decorated with pictures, mementos, food, and decorations, represents the memory of those lost within the LGBTQ+ community and allows individuals to honor and remember their contributions and legacies. The altar will be available for guests to visit in the center during normal operating hours. Guests are encouraged to bring items to commemorate their loved ones.  

Anti-racism speaker Trystan Reese offers session Nov. 10

On Tuesday, Nov. 10, guest speaker Trystan Reese brings his expertise in anti-racism work in this session for white students and faculty, "Do Your Work: The Internal Anti-Racism Journey."

“You care about racism," said Reese. "You reject racism. But how do you become an ally — or better yet, an accomplice in the fight against anti-Blackness and racism? First, you must go deep within to understand your own race story as a person with white and/or light-skinned privilege, exploring the earliest messages you received around race.

Through the workshop, participants will examine the antidote to white fragility — white humility —  and learn a practical tool for effective intervention with other people of privilege when racism rears its head.  

Annual Transgender Day of Remembrance Vigil video, Nov. 19

The Annual Transgender Day of Remembrance Vigil, the keystone event of the month honoring the lives of transgender and non-binary individuals around the world, will take place virtually on Thursday, Nov. 19, as a video release. We will be remembering those who have been killed in 2019 because of their perceived gender identity and/or expression, through anti-transgender and non-binary bigotry, hatred and violence.

'Safe at Home' virtual discussion on Nov 18

On Wednesday, Nov. 18, students will have the opportunity to discuss strategies about returning home for the holidays with CAPS counselors during a Zoom session titled "Safe at Home." Counselors will be on-hand to discuss ways to prioritize self-care and how to navigate going back to a home environment that may not be affirming of students' LGBTQ+ identities.

Accessibility requests

Participants who are seeking accommodations to participate in these events, please contact the Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity at 814-863-1248 or as soon as possible.

Transgender Awareness Month events

  • Nov. 2 — Día De Los Muertos Celebration Virtual Experience via Facebook Live
  • Nov. 4, at 5 p.m. (HUB Robeson Center LL011) Late Night in the Center — "A Celebration of Black Queer Lives"will be streamed live on the CSGD’s Facebook page
  • Nov. 5Student Ally WorkshopStudents can register here.
  • Nov. 8, at noon– 2 p.m. Clothing Transit on the HUB Lawn (University Park)
  • Nov. 10, at 3 p.m. (Zoom Link: Passcode 679522) "Do Your Work: The Internal Anti-Racism Journey" with Trystan Reese
  • Nov. 12, at 5 p.m. New & Q:  A Queer Peers  Event — Students can register here.
  • Nov. 13, at 9-11 a.m. Safer People Safer Places Transgender and Gender Inclusion Workshop — Participants can register here.
  • Nov. 14, at noon-2 p.m. — Clothing Transit on the HUB Lawn (University Park)
  • Nov. 16, at noon-2 p.m. Safer People Safer Places – FoundationsParticipants can register here.
  • Nov. 18, at 5-8 p.m. Late Night in the Center – "Safe at Home"Join with this link.
  • Nov. 18LGBTQ+ STEM Day — learn more here.
  • Nov. 19Release of Transgender Day of Remembrance Reflection video, CSGD's Facebook page.
  • Nov. 20 Transgender Day of Remembrance

Additional Transgender Awareness Month activities across the Commonwealth

Dickinson Law

Nov. 16, at 4 p.m. — "Trans Competence in Legal Practice"

This session will present issues, responsibilities and principles for ensuring that attorneys maintain safe, inclusive spaces for everybody, especially transgender colleagues, clients and more.  Alumni are invited to attend and receive continuing legal education (CLE) credit.  For more information contact Jeffrey A. Dodge, associate dean for Academic & Student Services, at

Penn State Wilkes-Barre

Nov. 16, at 7 p.m.Paula Stone Williams presents a TED Talk: "I’ve lived as a man and a woman … here is what I’ve learned"

This TED Talk will be presented via Zoom link The room will open at 6:50 p.m. In addition, the talk also will be available via YouTube.

National and international observances

In addition to the activities during the month there will also be national and international observances and celebrations around sexual and gender diversity, including, but not limited to:  

Stay Tuned

Stay tuned to the Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity’s social media accounts and website  for any updated events.   

About the Center

The Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity provides advocacy and support along with our colleague units in Student Affairs for those studying at University Park and across the Commonwealth Campuses. Please call 814-863-1248 or e-mail for more information.   

Looking for community connection while virtual? Please join the CSGD Community Discord. For resources that might be helpful wherever you might be located geographically right now, please visit the center's website.

Last Updated April 15, 2021