Student organization provides a haven for transgender community


Photo by Ivy Sandoval

Members of Transcend pose for a photo after their weekly meeting Feb. 20, 2020, in the LBJ Student Center. Transcend is the first trans-specific organization in any Texas public university.

Ivy Sandoval, Life and Arts Reporter

Finding a place that feels like home on campus can be tough sometimes. For members of the LGBTQ+ community, Transcend may just be their safe haven.

Transcend is the first trans-specific student organization at a public Texas university. Many other organizations around Texas are for LGBTQ+ and queer members together but not transgender-specific. Transcend was founded in 2014 and is an educational and social support organization for transgender and nonbinary students and their allies.

The organization focuses on educating allies about various topics relating to the transgender community as well as provides support for those within the community.

Vice president of management for Transcend Raymond Ortega, studio art senior, said each meeting tends to focus on a specific topic and is sometimes related to the time of the year, such as February’s meeting focusing on topics surrounding Valentines such as red flags in relationships or Black History Month and the Harlem Renaissance and history within the black transgender community.

“(During) Black History Month we talked about the Harlem Renaissance and the history of black trans people within the community and the importance of intersexuality,” Ortega said.

Ortega said Transcend tries to make sure that trans people who are not involved with the community know they are accepted on campus and do not need to feel alone or feel the need to hide. Ortega said Transcend has been a great place and environment at Texas State.

President of Transcend Nayir Vieira Freeman, painting junior, said Transcend plays a big role in their life.

“I love Transcend; it’s a nice base for having friends,” Freeman said. ” I genuinely think of everyone as my kids because we all take care of each other.”

Members of Transcend have found their own family and home away from home with the organization.

Xoe Reneau, psychology senior, said Transcend has been a great way to meet new people and feel part of a good community.

“It’s been a good educational journey to kind of know where my family comes from,” Reneau said. “Just being able to feel a sense of community is something that I thought was so individualized and internalized like all the pain that I felt was just me, it’s like been experienced by other people. There’s other people that are experiencing what I’m experiencing just makes me feel more like a normal person than just an outcast.”

The form for art and performance submissions can be found on @TranscendTXST on Twitter and @transcendtxst on Instagram.

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