Georgia State Holds 5th Annual Trans Week

Georgia State aimed to hold its fifth annual Trans Week from March 30 to April 3. Due to campus closure for the remainder of the semester amid COVID-19 concerns, the event is no longer taking place. The week-long event aimed to provide resources for and foster a sense of community among sexually and gender diverse students. Maliyah Worthy, president of the Alliance for Sexual and Gender Diversity at Georgia State, was at the forefront of the event and hopes to make this year’s Trans Week the best yet.


“Last year, I wasn’t under the impression that we were actually doing that much to help out with Trans Week, so I’m just excited, and I know Alliance is as well,” Worthy said. 


With increased involvement, Worthy encouraged Alliance members to table at Trans Week events and distribute educational pamphlets and medical resources. Alliance members would have led informational sessions on chest binders and providing binder resources to attendees.


Worthy also hoped to incorporate intersectional activism into this year’s Trans Week, giving students the opportunity to voice how factors such as race and class affect their experience in the trans community.


“[In] my past years [with] Alliance, I would see that our membership would go down throughout the semester, and it would always be [mostly] white people that would always come,” she said. “A lot of my friends, who are black or brown or indigenous, would tell me, ‘I don’t feel accepted completely, and I don’t have anybody to really talk to of my color.’”


Worthy’s efforts to give trans, queer and gender-nonconforming people of color increased visibility in Alliance has already positively impacted the number of members of color who consistently attend meetings and seek leadership positions.


At Trans Week, in particular, Worthy hoped that Alliance’s intersectionality will be showcased in group-based activities and informative speeches by members. Alliance was collaborating with Panthers for Black Feminism and Faces of Feminism to organize a panel titled “Intersectional Activism: POC Trans Activists in the South.” The panel would have spotlighted long-time, local activists and discuss queer community-building in an ever-changing South.


However, as the planning of Trans Week progressed, financial feasibility was still up in the air. Worthy has had difficulty securing funds from Georgia State in the past and was doubtful that this time will be different.


“Georgia State Urban Life has a whole list of things we can and cannot do,” she said. “They charge us if we don’t show up [at] our own meetings. And not only do they charge us, but we have to pay it out of our own pockets.”


Worthy was confident that, although frustrating, the challenges faced by Alliance are always surmountable. The extensive planning and organization still needed for Trans Week are daunting, but Worthy is in for the ride.


“With Alliance, I’ve learned so much not only regarding myself but other folks as well,” she said. “It’s been all about wanting to build a community and making sure that we are featuring the most marginalized.”


Worthy hoped Trans Week would mark a turning point for the organization’s future. 


“If we come together with the Trans Week organization and other groups around campus, it could be a coalition,” she said. “We’ll work hand-in-hand and make s— happen.”