TranscenDANCE Rejects Traditional Gender Norms

Sims TranscenDANCE webstory photo

Sims TranscenDANCE webstory photo

Rayna Sims – MUTV 23 News Staff Writer

Rainbow colors adorned the Mark Twain Ballroom Saturday Nov. 15 as volunteers helped set up for the TranscenDANCE.

Bringing MU’s Transgender Awareness Week to a close, the annual dance was all about transcending traditional gender roles and allowing guests to be whomever they wanted.

“The thing that makes this dance different is just the freedom for everyone to be themselves at this dance, you can wear what you like you can bring who you like,” explained Struby Struble, coordinator of the MU LGBTQ Resource Center.

Volunteer and attendee Amanda Prescott said that she became very involved with MU’s LGBTQ community last year and that this was her second time attending the TranscenDANCE.

“My date tonight normally identifies as a man but is going to be doing a little bit of playing with gender,” said Prescott.

From the “Someone I <3 Is Trans*” buttons that were scattered among the tables to the “All Genders” restroom signs that were placed over the typical gender-specific signs for the evening, leaders of the TranscenDANCE took special care to make sure everyone would feel welcome and included.

“It’s really just about coming and having a safe space to dance because so often we can’t dress how we want to or bring who we want to dance with,” said Struble.

“This is just an event where people can be who they are,” Prescott said.

The event, which originated two to three years ago, was sponsored by MU’s LGBTQ Resource Center and the Triangle Coalition student organization. It focused on the issue of understanding and respecting the transgender community, which had been the goal of all of the events that took place throughout Trans Awareness Week.

“All of us transgress gender at least a little bit, and so this makes it a safe way for all of us to kind of explore our gender in a really fun way, and to show that we really support our trans students on campus,” Struble said.

Although an event geared towards the transgender community, the TranscenDANCE had something for everyone and proved a strong finale for Trans Awareness Week.

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