Students celebrate Trans Week with speakers, performers

by Katherine Burns / Beacon Staff • November 11, 2015

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Musician Skylar Kergil performed at Trans Week.
Courtesy of Skylar Kergil
Musician Skylar Kergil performed at Trans Week.
Courtesy of Skylar Kergil

Emerson held several events during Trans Week in early November, including a talk by keynote speaker Bamby Salcedo, a Latina transgender activist.

This was organized by Tikesha Morgan, director of multicultural student affairs. The class of 2018 sponsored one of the two speakers, Skylar Kergil.

Skylar Kergil is a transgender musician and artist from Cambridge, and class of 2018 president Sam Chase said he was a good fit for the event. Kergil talked about his story with the audience, performed some of his songs, and ended the event with a Q&A session.

Becca Chairin, marketing representative for EAGLE, asked Kergil in the Q&A about his involvement with youth activism in the trans community. Kergil responded that he has mentored several young people online and has added his voice to the trans-narrative through his music and the memoir he is working on.

“He’s very open about sharing his experiences in dealing with those tough questions that other people in the trans community might not be comfortable answering,” Chase, a visual and media arts major, said.

Chase said that the small attendance of 15 students was intimate and amplified the impact of the event. Kergil said in an interview with the Beacon he enjoyed how engaged the audience was, and the questions that they asked.

“I usually tailor my speech specifically to the environment,” Kergil said, “I usually have to go through Trans 101. Here, [at Emerson], I can just jump right into my story.”

Emerson’s Alliance for Gays, Lesbians and Everyone hosted T-Talks on Tuesday about dealing with prejudice against trans people in the LGBTQ+ community, according to EAGLE co-president Casey MacPhail.

At the T-Talk, Kaylee Mizell-Anzick, a junior writing, literature and publishing major, talked about the divide between different members of the queer community.

“Outside Emerson there is this huge divide between the bisexual community and the transsexual community, which makes absolutely no sense because they are the two most oppressed groups,” Mizell-Anzick said. “But for some reason at Emerson, we are more prone to have the bisexual and transsexual communities present in the same room, but we lose the gay, white male community, especially in our space.”

Beacon staffer May Blake contributed to this story. News Editor Laura King, a friend of Chase, did not edit this article.