Dear Editor, 

Trans people are people, period. Full stop. Trans people are beautiful, real, diverse, incredible, fabulous people. And at the University of Rhode Island, we have a thriving community of trans and nonbinary students. Moreover, we have a broader LGBTQ+ and ally community that loves and supports our entire family. Family. As LGBTQ+ folkx, a common part of our lives and livelihood is our chosen family. A family loves you. A family supports and affirms you. 

A family believes in your rights to equity and the boundless opportunities that lay in front of you. At URI, your family is here for you, right now and always. As the Director of the Gender and Sexuality Center, I am unfortunately, more aware of how members of our family are sometimes treated poorly at best and horrifically at worst. 

I want you to know that as we navigate this difficult and oppressive world together, I am here for you. The entire staff at the Gender and Sexuality Center is here for you. Your allies are here for you. The University of Rhode Island is here for you. Sometimes the only thing we have to hang onto is our family. And I promise you that at the end of each and every day, your family is standing beside and behind you in every single fight. 

There are a multitude of ways we can support each other and especially, our trans family members. Please follow us on social media – facebook, twitter, instagram, and come out to one of our many weekly groups: Trans and Nonbinary Support Group, Gal Pals, or Convo Group. You can find more information on how to contact me or access or programs or services at web.uri.edu/gender-sexuality. 

I want to remind our entire LGBTQ+ community of Audre Lorde’s words: “Revolution is not a one time event. Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare.” 

In Solidarity,
Dr. Annie Russell