Allen Blumstein | Staff Writer
From the top floor of the library, you could hear echoes coming from FIU’s trans day of visibility celebration on March 31.
It was an animated scene at the lawns on FIU’s Modesto A. Maidique campus as live music played and students danced about.
The event was hosted by FIU’s chapter of the Young Democratic Socialists of America (YDSA).
Students ceaselessly sifted through the vast assortment of clothes that was neatly laid out on a tarp atop the grass, courtesy of YDSA’s clothing drive.
The musical acts came in turn, rapidly setting up their equipment under a pop-up tent, introducing themselves, and testing the volume on their instruments and mics before flowing into their performances.
The musical lineup included alternative rock band Homesick Aliens, rapper Spacebaby, and sludge metal band Scattered Reality.
Scattered Reality is a five-member band composed of singer Sam Saturn, lead guitar and lyricist Zaher Al-issa(FIU student), Enrique Roque on rhythm guitars, Vinycius Deziderio on bass, and Jose Iglesias on drums and percussion.
“Ultimately our mission is to create a safer environment and an all-inclusive space, especially within our genre because punk rock is all about rising up against authority and peace and love” said Al-issa.
Scattered Reality performing during FIU’s Trans visibility day | Allen Blumstein, PantherNOW
Between performances Oscar Alvarez, the political education chair of YDSA’s FIU chapter, delivered an impassioned cry for togetherness and unity in achieving equality at FIU and beyond.
In the words of Alvarez, YDSA’s FIU chapter is on a mission to “benefit humanity and effectively distribute the surplus capital of the working class in a way that is more democratic and builds a better world for all.”
FIU recently turned over the data about transgender students’ use of gender affirming care on campus at the request of Governor DeSantis and if House Bill 999 is passed, will have to comply with a ban on majors and minors that utilize the teaching of subjects including Critical Race Theory and Queer Theory.
In a PantherNOW interview Alvarez said, “I have to be there for them [transgender community]. I have to stand up for them.”
There are painful hardships that the transgender community deals with.
According to a document released by the White House more than half of all transgender children seriously considered suicide in the last year.
Further, according to the National Center for Transgender Equality, “1 in 5 transgender people have experienced homelessness at some point in their life”.
“Transgender is an umbrella term for persons whose gender identity, gender expression or behavior does not conform to that typically associated with the sex to which they were assigned at birth” says the American Psychological Association.
In 2009 International Transgender Day of Visibility was created by Rachel Crandall-Crocker, a transgender woman determined to establish a day of commemoration and celebration for the transgender community.
Coming from humble beginnings in Michigan, International Transgender Day of Visibility is now celebrated worldwide.
Equality for the transgender community has not yet been achieved but Trans Visibility gatherings like FIU’s are ways for transgender individuals and allies to gather to show support and solidarity.
Meris Perez-Crespo, a member of the FIU Pride Student Union, decorated cookies for attendees at the FIU event.
Perez-Crespo identifies as non-binary and bisexual, explaining that her gender changes with the times.
“Ever since I was a child, I always felt like there was something different about me. It was like ‘Oh, I’m supposed to be a girl, but am I?’” said Perez-Crespo.
This article has been updated with two corrections. PantherNOW originally stated that Pride Student Union co-hosted this event with Young Democratic Socialists of America. This was incorrect; the two organizations held separate events at the same time. PantherNOW also used the term “medical data” to describe the information the university turned over to the state. This was not wholly accurate, and we have changed it to “data” to better reflect the information given.