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Dean Osteen’s Message for Transgender Awareness Month

A hand holds up a blue, white, and pink heart in front of a bright yellow background

Greetings to the College of Social Work Community,

November historically marks the beginning of the holiday season, starting with Thanksgiving. It is a time of celebration as classes come to an end and students, faculty, and staff alike look forward to a break before the next semester. I also want to acknowledge that November is Transgender Awareness Month and includes Transgender Day of Remembrance (November 20).

Transgender rights are under aggressive attack in this country. Every week seems to reveal new efforts to oppress, discriminate, and deny transgender and non-binary individuals’ access to supportive and often life-saving care.

“Transgender Day of Remembrance seeks to highlight the losses we face due to anti-transgender bigotry and violence. I am no stranger to the need to fight for our rights, and the right to simply exist is first and foremost. With so many seeking to erase transgender people — sometimes in the most brutal ways possible — it is vitally important that those we lose are remembered, and that we continue to fight for justice.”

– Transgender Day of Remembrance founder Gwendolyn Ann Smith

This is a time to acknowledge and reflect on the many tragedies endured by transgender and non-binary communities and those who have lost their lives to discrimination, oppression, and violence.

I want you to know that now, in this moment, the College of Social Work commits to recognizing and supporting transgender and non-binary students, staff, and faculty.


Be safe and be well. And most importantly, be kind and intentional.

Philip Osteen, PhD
Dean and Professor


P.S.  The College of Social Work looks forward to celebrating International Transgender Day of Visibility on March 31, 2024.  We invite you to mark your calendars now and plan to join us in honoring our transgender family, friends, colleagues, and neighbors.

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Last Updated: 12/12/23