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ENGL 102 – Real Men Use Tampons

Merlin
ENGL 102

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Introduction

Learning Goals

I would like to learn about how resources (or lack thereof) affect the trans community in the greater Boise area, and specifically within the student body at Boise State University. In order to understand the hardships that transgender students face is important.

Reflection

Transgender issues go far beyond what we see in the news, and affect people daily. There are far more transgender individuals that are in need of help than people understand. An employee at BSU says they, “found that faculty, staff, and students–particularly those who are non-binary, Trans, agender, or fluid and folks of color–don’t stay here long and report conditions in this state and on this campus being inhospitable.”

Progress Flag, Rainbow flag with five arrows, white, pink, light blue for transgender people; brown and black for people of color

This project  allowed me to personally connect with the people of my community, as well as the students at Boise State. I used this project to participate in a more intimate way with BSU, and their policies. This has allowed me to see the legal side of the school behind the public face. I greatly value this experience because of the opportunities I have been given. Throughout this project I taken a peek into just a small part of the reality of living as a trans student. I think that my project provides a minimal amount of relief for the students on campus. I believe that I have  created the foundation for something that can be expanded in the future.

Community Partner

Mission Statement

In Idaho, as well as throughout the United States, there is an disproportionate number of transgender people who face housing insecurity. According to the National Center for Transgender Equality , 20-40% of homeless youth are either transgender or are in the LGBTQIA+ community. Recognizing this issue, I wanted to provide immediate resources to those who have an otherwise hard time accessing them. Items such as hygiene produces are able to assist people who do not have the ability to purchase it for themselves.

Project Purpose

I acquired a grant, as well as purchased over 300 items in order to achieve the goals of this project. I contacted not only university resources but community organizations as well. I organized a locker for queer students with resources such as hygiene and medical products. I was able to write a grant for over $3,000 and have it approved.

Course Concepts

This class is designed to help students connect with their community in a more intimate way, which I feel I have done over the course of this project. I have not only learned more about the trans experience, but I have also learned about what the BSU and Idaho are doing to support the people who need it the most. I used my previous knowledge of the transgender community and combined it with what I learned in this project to create an additional resource for trans students. Throughout this class I have integrated my learning in the classroom with my experience in the community. Applying these concepts to my service work has allowed me to have more meaningful results.

Methods

  • Organized a locker on campus for the students in Student Involvement.
  • Contacted the community in order to obtain resources.
  • Contacted BSU’s ASBSU, Gender Equity Center, and Dean of Students to consider funding and coordinate the project.
  • Remain in contact with the Transgender Alliance members so that students are aware.
Hygiene and medical products laid out on a table

Results

I was able to not only acquire a $3,000 grant, but with that money I purchased over 300 products for the students at BSU. The items in this locker are helpful to not only transgender students, but to any queer person on campus.

Unfortunately, this does not promise that these will be available for future students. I hope that at least for the remainder of the semester students will be able to acquire things that may not otherwise be available.

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