Transgender Spectrum Initiative (TSI)
The Transgender Spectrum Initiative is a Jesuit Grant Foundation-funded program from the Gender & Sexuality Center at USF. The purpose of the Transgender Spectrum Initiative (TSI) is to invite USF’s transgender spectrum community and the broader community to reflect on and engage in a dialogue about the marginalization and injustice that transgender spectrum community members experience on a day to day basis.
Through the Jesuit value of Contemplation in Action, TSI will host generative spaces that support trans students in contemplation and spiritual growth, that is, finding God in students’ own particular community. Through this reflective transformational process, TSI seeks to provide Cura Personalis for our trans students, a holistic human development responding to their individualities morally, spiritually, psychologically, and physically.
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Visiting Speaker Series
The Visiting Speaker series will provide the USF campus community with an opportunity to hear the voices and experiences of people who have a focus on transgender spectrum issues and/or who have created successful careers as transgender spectrum people. The San Francisco Bay Area has a deep history of LGBTQ+ activism. We aim to empower attendees to learn more about their experiences and to engage more deeply in solidarity work. We are developing three programs happening over the course of the Spring 2021 semester that provide a diverse group of perspectives and showcase the various avenues that program participants can take in working toward the goal of justice for and solidarity with transgender spectrum people. The sessions will focus on:
- Political Activism & Community-Based Work
- Transgender Identity and Spirituality
- Vocational Discernment
Tour of the Compton Transgender Cultural District
The Compton Transgender Cultural District of San Francisco is the first legally recognized transgender district in the world. Its mission is to create an urban environment that fosters the rich history, culture, legacy, and empowerment of transgender people and its deep roots in the southeastern Tenderloin neighborhood. The transgender district aims to stabilize and economically empower the transgender community through ownership of homes, businesses, historic and cultural sites, and safe community spaces. Located in the Tenderloin of San Francisco, the newly created district highlights the presence and history of the transgender community within the city and neighborhood, while working against the displacement of its transgender population.
The tour will be open to any interested USF student. The effort is supported by Aria Sai’d, Executive Director and Co-Founder of the Compton Transgender Cultural District. The tour content will be centered in Forming and Educating Agents of Change, and will include a post-tour discussion centered where the value is examined in connection to their experiences on the tour. Through a reflective process, trans students will be connected with the transgender spectrum community in San Francisco and empowered to serve the poor and the marginalized through direct engagement with and beyond the community.
Spring Transformation Retreat
We plan to host a one-day retreat in San Francisco. Grounded in the Jesuit practice of formation, our goal in creating this community committed towards justice for the transgender spectrum community is to provide an opportunity for reflection and discernment, and to take a deeper dive into the topics that were addressed during the Compton Transgender Cultural District tour and the Visiting Speaker Series.
The sessions of this retreat will be centered on vocational discernment, mental wellness, and spiritual growth. We will also offer opportunities to these students to share the lessons that they have learned throughout the course of the semester as well as plan toward what the needs of their community are moving forward.