In the Know with GLBTA: SMSU Student Club Hosts Student Panel/Discussion and Transgender Speaker


Kim Watkins, Editor-In-Chief

Though marriage equality has become a reality for those in Minnesota, the challenge of fighting for this equality and helping others understand why in other states and around the world isn’t over.

Two separate events, hosted by the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Ally club (GLBTA), were held to help students, faculty and staff of Southwest Minnesota State University be more aware of the issues that are still apparent in the world today.

GLBTA held a student panel March 25 discussing marriage equality, allyship, and other facts and statistics about those that are LGBT.

Following the panel event, the GLBTA hosted transgender speaker, Rebecca Kling, Tuesday April 1. Kling would participate in a workshop with students earlier in the day, followed by a presentation later that night.

Alongside sharing some facts and statistics about the transgender community, Kling shared a very thought-evoking and personal story.

What started as a personal story about being fired in 2010, despite illegality, led to Kling pointing out some facts and experiences of those who are transgender.

When discussing transitioning, Kling shares that it is different for each person.

“Defining transitioning is tough. I would say my transition started in the second half of my last year of college and that for me, it is mostly done, but [not complete].”

In a wrap-up of the presentation, Kling shares that she had support from family and friends as well as other support groups.

“Our bodies are what we say they are. Our gender is what we say it is. And that’s all there is to it,” Kling said, “My gender is my own because I say so, and I have no intention of being left behind.”