Students watch, react to film as part of Day of Action

The Newtonite

by Jacob Schwartz
Students gathered in the auditorium during C-block yesterday to watch and discuss scenes from Trans Generation,  a documentary featuring transgender college students.
Gabbie, the first student introduced in the film, was born with the name Andrew and at the time of the filming, was a sophomore at the University of Boulder, Colorado. Early on, the documentary revealed some of the obstacles Gabbie faced because she identified with a gender different from her assigned gender.

For example, although Gabbie identified as a woman, she was legally required to use male restrooms. She also described herself as a loner. Gabbie’s parents had trouble coming to terms with Gabbie’s feelings of belonging with the female gender.

Audience members had mixed reactions upon learning about Lucas, a transgender student at Smith College, which is a women’s only school. Though he identifies as a male, Lucas was able to attend because he was born a female. He said in the film that he decided to stay at Smith because he “excelled academically there.”

Freshman Tommy Mobley said he was confused about how Lucas was able to feel justified in attending an all-girls school even though he identified himself as a man.

“It seemed kind of odd to me that someone who wanted to be male went to a female college. He was taking advantage of the fact that he’s still a woman,” Mobley said.

Raci, a freshman at California State University who appeared in the documentary, had to deal with the challenges of poverty and deafness, as well as trying to become accepted as a transgender student.

The film also introduced T.J., a female-to-male transsexual student at Michigan State. Overall, audience members had positive reactions upon learning that T.J. had a girlfriend at school.

Later on, Gabbie was preparing to go through a sex change operation, and at a family dinner, she appeared disappointed in her parents for not always showing full support.

Junior Bob Waters disagreed with Gabbie’s actions during the dinner because, while her parents did not give her full support at first, they had recently increased their support.

“She instigated tension in the room by saying that her parents did things when she first came out,” he said. “She’s not appreciating the fact that now she’s accepted.”

This dinner with her family was also Gabbie’s last before her sex-change operation. Waters commended Gabbie for being “being brave enough to go through the operation.”