Film viewings, discussions focus on transgender history that has gone unnoticed


Maddie Leopardo/Iowa State Daily

Students watch clips from the “We’ve Been Around: Trans History Visible” web-series screening in the Student Services Building on April 11. In honor of Pride Week, the screening featured six short films celebrating the lives of transgender trailblazers throughout U.S. history.

Lesly Espinoza

Part of Iowa State’s Pride Week, “We’ve Been Around,” focuses on transgender history that has gone unnoticed by society.

“We’ve Been Around: Trans History Visible” introduced a series of transgender activists who have lived, loved and died and the way they have impacted the LGBTQ community and U.S. history.

The YouTube web series included five short documentaries discussing the untold stories of Albert Cashier, Lou Sullivan, Lucy Hicks and many more.

Although activism came with risk, these transgender activists fought for their rights and are still inspiring others to fight for the way they want to live.

Clare Lemke, specialist for LGBT student services (LGBTSS), said the event focused on making transgender history visible and honoring the transgender community.

“Transgender history is important because it’s often erased although they have made important contributions to U.S. history,” Lemke said.

Lemke said that while the event was scheduled to be a part of Transgender Visibility Day on March 31, it’s important to honor the transgender community every day.  

“Activists who were making contributions to their communities are not honored as much as they should be because many do not know about them,” Lemke said.

Kristen Enriquez, who facilitated the event, said she hoped students gained knowledge about the transgender history they did not know about.  

“Transgender history is not very well spoken about, and these short videos give you a taste of the history students did not learn in school,” Enriquez said.

Her goal was to show these videos to inspire others to gain more knowledge about the community and to fight for what they believe in.

“The stories were emotional and touching,” Enriquez said. “It definitely touches and inspires people to fight for their rights and the way they want to be seen.”

Pride Week will continue on this week to bring awareness and educate others about the community.