Geography marks International Day of Transgender Visibility

The School of Geography LGBTQ+ Students’ Group marked the International Day of Transgender Visibility with members of Sanggar Seroja, a collective of transgender women based in Jakarta, Indonesia.

For the fourth annual event, the Students’ Group explored creative ways to disseminate knowledge about the lives and experiences of transgender people in Indonesia.

This event was co-organised by Dr Desy PirmasariProfessor Robert Vanderbeck and Dr Liam Taylor.

The event focused on two key outputs from the GENERATE (Gender, Generation and Climate Change: Creative Approaches to Building Inclusive and Climate Resilient Cities in Uganda and Indonesia) research project: the comic ‘Trans Superheroes’ and the board game ‘Gender Jeopardy: A Game of Trans Resilience.’ 

Members of the public also joined to hear from Rikky MF (co-ordinator of Sanggar Seroja), Mama Atha (co-founder of Sanggar Seroja), and Leka Putra (‘Trans Superheroes’ comic illustrator) about the project and the intersectional challenges of trans people at the forefront of climate change.

During the event, participants heard the stories of four of Sanggar Seroja’s trans superheroes who each advocate for social and environmental justice.

It is important to keep talking about intersectionality

Professor Robert Vanderbeck said: “Participants in this year’s event valued the opportunity to engage in transnational dialogue about the challenges that transgender people face in different contexts while also celebrating people’s creativity, ingenuity and resilience.

“The simultaneous translation between English and Bahasa Indonesia makes the events much more accessible and inclusive.”

Dr Desy Pirmasari said: “We need more creative ways like this to bring about the conversations and discussions experienced by marginalised communities, which are often most affected by climate change.

“At the same time, it is important to keep talking about intersectionality, as highlighted in the comic, and how it can deepen the discrimination one experiences.” 

For more details about the GENERATE project, read 'New creative tools explore gender, justice and the climate in Indonesia.'

A commitment to trans rights 

This event highlights an ongoing commitment from the School of Geography to celebrate the lives of trans people and raise awareness of the ongoing challenges faced by the trans, and broader LGBTQ+, community.

Since our first International Day of Transgender Visibility event in 2020, around 200 participants from across the globe have joined our celebrations.

Dr Liam Taylor said: “It is really important that the School of Geography is sending an unequivocal message of support and love to the global trans community, and to provide a platform for extraordinary trans Geographers. We are already looking forward to our fifth event next year!”