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Transgender activist making demands interrupts Pitt chancellor’s farewell speech


Emily Fowler, Article

Transgender activists at the University of Pittsburgh (Pitt) stormed into a Board of Trustees meeting.

A group called Trans Action Building sponsored a protest outside of Pitt’s William Pitt Union during the Board of Trustees meeting on June 23. After the protest, part of the group entered the building. One protester stood up in the middle of Chancellor Patrick Gallagher’s farewell address and began to list demands from the transgender community. When she refused to be quiet, the group was escorted out by campus police.

The protestor identified herself as “Stephanie,” an alumnus and member of Trans Action Building.

[RELATED: Riley Gaines: Transgender issues are about the ‘sheer essence of humanity’]

She then informed the meeting of the group’s wish to address some concerns and rapidly listed the group’s demands. “We want trans-inclusive health care and housing, including additional medical leave for trans-related health care.”

“We demand that you de-escalate crises on campus through trained medical health care providers; no more cops for mental health crises,” Stephanie continued. “We demand you to end union busting and provide [a] campus-wide minimum wage of $20 an hour.”

“You are out of order,” said one of the trustees to Stephanie. “May I ask you to cease?”

When Stephanie continued speaking, Browning requested that she leave. As Stephanie continued to list demands, campus police officers escorted her off campus.

After the group left the room, Gallagher quickly noted that the concerns of the Trans Action group would be addressed. “Of course we will respond to their demands and interests as well, offline, but that was not the crescendo I was going for. It is important that I remind you that you also can’t be a chancellor if you don’t have the support of the university that you lead,” he added. “It’s really that simple. That support (is) the reason we’re here.”

[RELATED: Trans activists demand Biden include athletics in Title IX revisions]

The university later stated that Pitt “strongly supports the right to protest and the right of free speech under the First Amendment. Complications can arise when protests become disruptive. The University hears the concerns aired at today’s Board of Trustees meeting and will address them offline.”

University of Pittsburgh has allocated multiple departments to make the campus more inclusive to members of the LGBTQ community.

Pitt’s LGBTQIA center provides resources such as Guidelines for Inclusion Related to Gender Transition, Student Health Services for LGBTQIA students, a Gender and Sexual Development Program, a Chosen Name system that allows students to put their preferred name in the university database, and Gender Inclusive Housing that allows students to live together regardless of their sexes.

Campus Reform reached out to the Trans Action Building, Chancellor Patrick Gallagher, Pittsburgh’s LGBTQIA center, and the University of Pittsburgh. This article will be updated accordingly.

Follow the author on Twitter: @emily_fowler18 

Republished with permission from Campus Reform

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