Former and current students speak at transgender awareness event

Michelle Blair, Contributor

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Michelle Blair, coordinator of SafeZone, hosted the second annual Transgender Awareness Month event on Nov. 16. Read a Q & A with her, where she speaks about her plans for SafeZone in the future.

The Transgender Awareness Event, “Who We Are, Where We Are, Where We’re Going,” held on November 16, 2017, was an informative and warm session, attended by approximately 75 students and campus members. The three speakers are all associated with San Jose City College! Dani Castro graduated from SJCC in 2006; from John F. Kennedy University, with a B.A. in Psychology in 2010 and a Master of Psychology and Holistic Studies in 2013, both cum laude. She co-founded and is a Research Director at the Center for Excellent for Transgender Health and UCSF, and is also a practicing psychotherapist. Benny O’Hara graduated from SJCC in Art in 2010, and from San Jose State University in 2015; they work as an in-house graphic designer for Santa Clara County, and also as a tattoo artist. Ivan Xavier is a first-semester student, interested in creating a robust LGBTQ club on campus. The audience appreciated the presenters’ candor and clarity in telling their stories of becoming who they are.

The event ended with an acknowledgment of TDoR, the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance by reading aloud the names of a number of those who were killed in the last year through anti-transgender violence.