Taking place this week from November 1-4, the interdisciplinary study group Imagining Trans Futures is hosting an academic symposium, taking place both online and at the Seattle and Bothell campuses of the University of Washington. Although talks require registration, the event is fully open to the public and will include a variety of speakers from all backgrounds and professions.
Organized by Professors UW Ching-In Chen and Neil Simpkins of the School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, the four-day seminar aims to bring together scholars, artists, and leaders from the transgender and Asian American communities, to explore the intersectionality between critical transgender studies, as well as discussions of art created both by and for the community.
“We want to build a platform to showcase trans studies and performances as well as the thinking and creative brilliance of these speakers,” Chen said.
The symposium program includes events ranging from creative writing workshops to zine-making classes, as well as talks on trans-for-trans (T4T) community care, transgender medical representation, and Asian-Asian intersectionality. American.
“A lot of Asian Americans have a racialized identity,” Chen said. “How we experience racism is very specific, and we are often positioned against other communities of color, which also interacts with our gender identity.”
Like many Asian Americans, Chen grew up in a household that was not very knowledgeable or supportive of transgender identities. Chen noted that building conversations with family members about gender identities is a complex process, one that he hopes will be facilitated by the Imagining Trans Futures panel.
At a time when transgender bodies and identities are continually persecuted by law and society, Chen and Simpkins have worked tirelessly to be a force for good by raising awareness in the community about accessible T4T transgender care and community support. In 2021, the two hosted a micro-seminar through the Simpson Center for the Humanities which was popular with graduate and undergraduate students.
“We hope to engage the UW community in this conversation,” Chen said. “How we care for each other affects the community, especially when trans bodies are under attack.”
By bringing together a variety of scholars, speakers, and artists from transgender spaces, the Imagining Trans Futures Seminar aims to foster safety, community, and accessibility for transgender people in both the UW community and across the greater Seattle area.
For those interested in finding transgender resources, discovering a wide variety of art from talented creators, and broadening their perspective on trans issues, this event is a must.
All Imagining Trans Futures events are free – to register, visit the panel page on the Simpson Center website.
Contact contributing writer Keven Goh at [email protected] Twitter: @1bluelotus
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