TAG offers information, discussion

Reporter and Reporter

The Trans Awareness Group, known as TAG, officially became a recognized group at the University this past semester.

The group, part of the University LGBT community, hosts weekly meetings and discusses trans-related issues such as political and medical concerns in the community.

Daniel Rivera, president of TAG, said that before the group was known, a few people would show up and sit in the back of the classroom where the group met. This year, the number of people has risen to about 18 people, he said.

“It’s usually a discussion-based group,” Rivera said. “We pull up an article and read it off the [projector] and say ‘what do you think about this’ and they’ll discuss it and they’ll say whether or not they disagree with it or not and what they think will be a better course of action.”

Tobias Spears, Assistant Director of LGBT Programs said TAG brings lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders together as an ally coalition and is unique because it brings transgender issues into the lesbian, gay and bisexual community.

“It serves as sort of a meeting place for people who aren’t only transgender or non-conforming gender, but for people who want to be better allies … and want to get additional information,” Spears said. “I think that trans identities are really difficult to understand and I think that the TAG group really gives people the tools to think about what it means to be a trans being.”

Freshman Megan Alburtus attends weekly meetings for TAG and considers herself an ally to the transgender community.

“I was dating a person who was identified as a transgender and I wanted to learn more about it,” Alburtus said. “I know transphobia comes out of ignorance and a lot of people don’t know about it and it’s also a fun way to become involved with the LGBT community.”

Spears knows the group will only continue to grow and the future of TAG looks bright and positive.

“They have branded their name and if they continue in that trajectory, the group will be successful because we’ll have a lot of people interested in it,” Spears said. “I think they do a lot of interesting work.”

TAG meets every Tuesday in Hannah Hall 107 from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. Anyone can join and it’s free to become a member.