SIGN HERE - Letter for UCSB Alumni and UC grad students: NO Transphobia at UCSB
In light of a transphobic TA spewing violent transphobia to students and online, us alumni got together to write this letter. Please sign your name below and we will put you on this letter. This letter will be sent to UCSB and Fem Studies Admin
THIS WILL BE PUBLISHED. -- PLEASE FILL OUT FORM BELOW TO SIGN ON TO THIS LETTER
"Alumni & Allies Say No Transphobia at UCSB
Dear UCSB Adminstration and Feminist Studies Department,
As alumni and allies, we are writing to you this Pride month to express our shock, outrage, and disappointment that gender nonconforming and transgender Feminist Studies students and allies have reported transphobia in the classroom. With rampant transphobia emboldened in the Trump era, UCSB must not create hostile learning conditions for its students. When an institution of higher education that values knowledge mirrors the behavior and social rhetoric of the Trump administration in its educational praxis, something has gone terribly wrong.
Transgender and gender non-conforming students already face numerous additional obstacles, from violence and threats to verbal abuse and discrimination on and around campus. While there may not be any truly safe spaces on campus, the Feminist Studies Department has often served as a respite from some of the transphobia that students encounter both interpersonally and institutionally.
It has come to our attention that among the many otherwise-wonderful Feminist Studies course offerings, some deleterious and hateful material has been presented in the classroom and online targeting trans students. Material that denies the existence and lived experiences of trans people, especially trans women, is not only factually inaccurate but harmful to trans students. Such views are incompatible with the ethical responsibilities of Feminist Studies as a discipline, and should not be espoused by instructors, TAs, or in course material.
These issues are not merely an academic debate; when the academy legitimates transphobia, it lends credence to an ideological position that systematically disenfranchises and kills trans people. We have seen an increase in murders and hate crimes targeting trans people this year, in addition to trans folks committing suicide as an outcome of the violence they experience. It is alarming that the life expectancy of trans women of color in this country is thirty-one; this year alone, nine trans women of color have been murdered in the U.S. without justice (and these are only the cases that have made the news).
We call on the Department of Feminist Studies and the administration of UCSB to help eradicate transphobia at UCSB. We ask that the department ensure its course offerings are free of transphobic material, and advance appropriate, peer-reviewed scholarship and theoretical frameworks on trans people and their experiences. Instructors should not promote material in the classroom and department that denies the reality of trans people’s experiences or reifies gendered and sexed binaries as essential or real. We also ask that the department explore and implement departmental resources for trans and gender nonconforming students as they teach, work and learn in the Feminist Studies department. We also demand that the UCSB Administration increase resources for trans students on campus including but not limited to mental health, educational, social, and justice-oriented resources. The UCSB Administration's inaction on transphobia on campus in the face of our current political climate is unacceptable. We must ensure the safety and well being of all students, especially transgender and gender nonconforming students.
We, alumni and allies, cosign this message and urge UCSB to take action immediately.
[First Name, Last Name, School, Department Graduated, Year Graduated]"
Name (First Name, Last Name)
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Department You were or are in
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