Positive Space organized events including a hack-a-thon and film screenings to take place on campus
Positive Space is kicking off its third-annual Trans Awareness Month Friday in the Student Learning Centre.
The collective, in collaboration with Ryerson Library, the Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU)’s Trans Collective and the Recreation and Athletics Centre (RAC), will also hold events throughout the month including a panel, workshops and film screenings.
Organized by volunteer Ryerson employees, Rachel DiSaia, one of the co-chairs for Positive Space, says they do this because, “it’s important to us.”
“It raises visibility that there are still challenges happening on a daily basis for trans folk,” DiSaia said.
Trans Awareness Month events started three years ago with a single event. Last November Positive Space organized seven events and this year they’ve been able to maintain that amount of programming.
“What’s growing is the participation in these events and the volunteers who are committing their time,” DiSaia added.
Goldbloom Micomonaco, a fifth-year Image Arts student and a film director, is participating in a Trans Awareness Month event with a screening of their short film Wet.
What began as an assignment for Micomonaco grew into a short film that has been screened as a part of a TIFF short documentary competition,Trans Film Fest and the Las Vegas Queer Arts Film Festival.
Micomonaco said they wanted to challenge the ethics of how films are made, for example, traditional shower scenes which require an actor to be naked and vulnerable in front of a producer, director and about 30 other crew members.
“If you can change the context of the scene to be anywhere else, you should,” they said.
Micomonaco’s film, along with a documentry on transgender parents, will be screened in the Ryerson Library at noon on Nov. 19.
The library will also host a hack-a-thon, DiSaia said, where they’ll go into Wikipedia and update the profiles of trans-Canadians to better recognize their accomplishments.
One of the final events of the month is Trans Day of Remembrance (TDoR), taking place on Nov. 20. Hosted by the 519, a commuity organization that focuses on the health and wellness needs of LGBTQ2S communities, TDoR is a vigil to commemorate trans folk who lost their lives in 2019 due to hate crimes, illness, substance abuse, suicide or murder.
DiSaia said there is still more to be done at Ryerson considering that less than one per cent of employees identify as trans.
“We have to figure out how to make sure that our institution represents that greater community that we’re part of,” Disaia said.
Micomonaco said it’s important for these events to happen on campus, but people should take the initiative to do research beyond the events.
“Take these events as sources of where you can get started, where you can participate and listen … but remember that as a trans person, literally every single day is trans month for me.”