SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. (WDVM)– Students from all walks of life came to White Hall at Shepherd University to have an open dialogue about gender identity.
“I really think it’s an incredibly important issue that many people often overlook. Gender is something that affects or is a part of everybody’s life,” said Christopher Hicks, a member of the Gender and Sexuality Alliance at Shepherd University.
The discussion centered around inclusion and how in today’s society things are always changing, and whether or not people are willing to adapt.
“New identities are created every day, new terms, terms change. They create new ones or get rid of old ones. Whatever it may be. It’s just a constant way that you have to keep learning,” said Tessa Chafin, an intern who’s a part of the Office of Social Equity IX.
One person who came to the discussion was Madi Welder. At birth Welder says he was assigned female but identifies as being a trans man. He says the trans community has to deal with a lot of issues, including deciding what restroom they should choose.
“I get anxiety going and using the men’s restroom, or when I went to my family reunion. At the beginning of the semester, flying on an airplane, my driver’s license says that my sex is female and what happens when I get stopped and have to be pat-down,” said Welder.
Dr. Chiquita Howard-Bostic organized the event. She emphasized that society needs to embrace change.
“Things are changing, and so we can either address change and understand what is happening or what’s going on or we can ignore it and pretend like it’s not happening. And in that context, there are a lot of people that we disrespect or that we disregard,” said Dr. Howard-Bostic.