Discovering identities

Events to help educate attendees about the trans community

Story by Kristina Bornholtz, News Editor

Throughout the week of Nov. 17-22, UW-Eau Claire’s Women’s and LGBTQ Resource Center will host four different events in celebration of Trans*Mission Week.


The events, which are free and open to the public, will range from film screenings, choir performances and speakers. These events, which will take place in the evening at Davies Center, feature members of the Eau Claire.


One particular highlight of the week’s festivities is the Thursday night presentation by Eau Claire alumna, Jessica Januik. Her presentation, titled “Recipe for a Vagina,” will take place at 7 p.m. Nov. 19 in Davies Dakota Ballroom.


For Audrey Fessler, a women’s studies and English professor, Januik’s presentation will be a highlight of the week. She said she had Januik as a student twice and finds her “ a captivating person to learn from.”


“She speaks with tremendous insight and self understanding,” Fessler said.


Chris Jorgenson, coordinator for the Women’s and LGBTQ Resource Center, said that Januik’s presentation is especially important to the week’s festivities because her transition story takes place at the university, making it more accessible for university students to understand.


He said that the festival not only Januik’s presentation, but the week as a whole, is important to the Eau Claire community.


When it comes to the understanding of the LGBTQ community, Jorgenson said that he believes the “T,” which stands for trans, is the least understood. He said because Eau Claire is a compilation of all types of people, including those who identify as trans, it is important for the community to take the time to understand those that live around them.


“It’s crucial, because the LGBTQ community is not separate and apart from Eau Claire,” Jorgenson said. “We are Eau Claire.”


Jorgenson, who spoke at last year’s event, said that the week provides and opportunity for people to learn about what it means to be trans and engage with trans people from the community.


For more information on the week’s events, see the Women’s and LGBTQ Resource Center site.